Bright Novae plugin

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The Bright Novae plugin provides visualization of some bright novae in the Milky Way galaxy.

Example (Nova Cygni 1975, also known as V1500 Cyg): NovaCygni1975wiki.jpg

Using the Bright Novae plugin

  1. Enable the tool by clicking the tool-bar button "Load at startup"
  2. Set date and time (30 August 1975 year for Nova Cygni 1975 as example)

Section [Novae] in config.ini file

You can edit config.ini file by yourself for changes of the settings for the Bright Novae plugin - just make it carefully!

ID Type Version Description
Plugin Stellarium
last_update string 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Date and time of last update
update_frequency_days int 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Frequency of updates, in days
updates_enable bool 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ Enable updates of bright novae catalog from Internet
url string 0.1.0+ 0.12.3+ URL of bright novae catalog

Catalog of bright novae

You can modify the novae.json file manually using a text editor. If you are using Windows, it is strongly recommended to use an advanced text editor such as Notepad++ to avoid problems with end-of-line characters. (It will also color the JSON code and make it easier to read.)

Warning: Before editing your novae.json, make a backup copy. Leaving out the smallest detail (such as a comma or forgetting to close a curly bracket) will prevent Stellarium from starting.

The path to the directory which contains novae.json is something like:

  • C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Stellarium\modules\Novae (Windows Vista, Windows 7)
  • C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Stellarium\modules\Novae (Windows XP)
  • HomeDirectory/Library/Preferences/Stellarium/modules/Novae (Mac OS X)
  • ~/.stellarium/modules/Novae (Linux)

(Note that this is a hidden folder, so in order to find it you may need to change your computer's settings to display hidden files and folders.)

Format of catalog

To add a new nova, open a new line after line 5 and paste the following, note commas and brackets, they are important:

             "Nova designation":
                   "name": "name of nova",
                   "type": "type of nova",
                   "maxMagnitude": value of maximal visual magnitude,
                   "minMagnitude": value of minimal visual magnitude,
                   "peakJD": JD for maximal visual magnitude,
                   "m2": Time to decline by 2mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m3": Time to decline by 3mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m6": Time to decline by 6mag from maximum (in days),
                   "m9": Time to decline by 9mag from maximum (in days),
                   "distance": value of distance between nova and Earth (in thousand of Light Years),
                   "RA": "Right ascension (J2000)",
                   "Dec": "Declination (J2000)"

For example, record for Nova Cygni 1975 (V1500 Cyg):

             "V1500 Cyg":
                   "name": "Nova Cygni 1975",
                   "type": "NA",
                   "maxMagnitude": 1.69,
                   "minMagnitude": 21,
                   "peakJD": 2442655,
                   "m2": 2,
                   "m3": 4,
                   "m6": 32,
                   "m9": 263
                   "distance": 6.36,
                   "RA": "21h11m36.6s",
                   "Dec": "48d09m02s"

Light curves

This plugin uses a very simple model for calculation of light curves for novae stars. This model is based on time for decay by N magnitudes from the maximum value, where N is 2, 3, 6 and 9. If a nova has no values for decay of magnitude then this plugin will use generalized values for it.

Version history

Plug-in version Stellarium version Significant changes
0.1.0 0.12.3 First public version of plugin
0.1.1 0.13.0 Improvements for performance & GUI.

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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