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Making videos of the night sky with Stellarium

This archive contains a python 3 script that will automate the process of creating videos of the night sky with stellarium. It will take an observation position and other observation parameters as command line options and then create a script for Stellariums built in scripting engine to compute the animation frames for the given date. Once the frames are created the script will invoke ffmpeg to combine the frames into an mp4 video file.

For more details please go to the web page of this project


In order to use this script Stellarium and ffmpeg must be installed. You will also need vlc if you want to use the -s option.

Command Line Options:

-long Longitude of the observation loaction.

-lat Latitude of the observation loaction

-alt Altitude of the center of the field of view

-az Azimut in degrees (View direction)

-d YYYY-MM-DD The simulation date. The animation will automatically begin an hour after sunset on the specified day.

-fov The field of view in degrees.

-fps xx Frame rate of the output video.

-t abc The title of the video. The video title will be superimposed onto the video.

-ts xx The simulation time span in hours.

-dt xx The time difference between two sucessive frames in seconds.

-o abc.mp4 The name of the output video file.

-s When this flag is specified an instance of VLC will be started once the video is created.


The following command will compute the first 2 hours of night sky in Berlin (Germany) on the 25th September of the year 2018.

python3 -lat 52.5186 -long 13.4083 -t "Look at all the Stars!" -az 90 -alt 25 -d 2018-09-25 -ts 2 -s -o out.mp4 -fov 70 -dt 30


The computation of sunset times in this script is done with routines written by Michel J. Anders.


Making videos of the night sky with Stellarium



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