ArchaeoLines plugin

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A tool for archaeo-/ethnoastronomical alignment studies.


The ArchaeoLines plugin displays any combination of declination arcs most relevant to archaeo- or ethnoastronomical studies. Of course, principles used in this context are derived from natural observations, and many of these declinations are still important in everyday astronomy.

  1. Declinations of equinoxes (i.e. equator) and the solstices
  2. Declinations of the crossquarter days (days right between solstices and equinoxes)
  3. Declinations of the Major Lunar Standstills
  4. Declinations of the Minor Lunar Standstills
  5. Declination of the Zenith passage
  6. Declination of the Nadir passage
  7. Declination of the currently selected object
  8. Current declination of the sun
  9. Current declination of the moon
  10. Current declination of a naked-eye planet

The lunar lines include horizon parallax effects. There are two lines each drawn, for maximum and minimum distance of the moon. Note that declination of the moon at the major standstill can exceed the indicated limits if it is high in the sky due to parallax effects.

It may be very instructive to let the time run quite fast and observe the line of "current moon" swinging between its north and south limits each month. These limits grow and shrink between the Major and Minor Standstills.

The sun likewise swings between the solstices. Over centuries, the solstice declinations very slightly move as well.

Using the ArchaeoLines plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Click on the plugin button on the bottom toolbar for displaying the lines. (The button represents a stylized trilithon with a sun or full moon visible inside - inspired by mostly British archaeoastronomical claims of stone alignments with solstices and Lunar standstills.)

Section [ArchaeoLines] in config.ini file

Apart from changing settings using the plugin configuration dialog, you can also edit config.ini file by yourself for changes of the settings for the ArchaeoLines plugin - just make it carefully!

A caveat for users of Windows with NVidia and AMD GPUs: before selecting the color, you may have to leave fullscreen mode, else the color selection panel may be hidden. This appears to be a Qt problem beyond our reach.

ID Type Version Description
Plugin Stellarium
color_equinox float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_solstices float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_crossquarters float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_major_standstill float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_minor_standstill float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_zenith_passage float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_nadir_passage float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_selected_object float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_current_sun float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_current_moon float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
color_current_planet float R,G,B 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_equinox bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_solstices bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_crossquarters bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_major_standstills bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_minor_standstills bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_zenith_passage bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_nadir_passage bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_selected_object bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_current_sun bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_current_moon bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+
show_current_planet bool 0.1.0+ 0.13.3+

Version history

Plug-in version Stellarium version Significant changes
0.1.0 0.13.3 First public version of plugin

How you can help

We are welcome bug reports, feature requests and feedback through the usual channels (trackers, forums and so on).

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