Fun with Asterisms in Starry Night Software


    This KB article will teach you how to add the Happy Face asterism to your Starry Night program. If you feel like creating your own asterism then everything you need to know is also included. No coding experience is required provided you have a willingness to learn.

    This is the Happy Face asterism we are adding to Starry Night 7. Follow along. Then its your turn to create your own.


    Download the attached file "Happy Face Asterism.txt"

    Get it from here or the end of the KB article.

    Create a folder called "Asterisms"

    The newly created Asterisms folder must be put in the following location.

    (Windows) \Users\<YourUserName>\AppData\Local\Simulation Curriculum\Starry Night Prefs\Sky Data <--- create the folder here

    (Note, on Windows the AppData folder is often "hidden". To make it visible go to Control Panel ---> Folder Options ---> Show hidden folders.

    (OS X) /Users/<YourUserName>/Library/Application Support/Simulation Curriculum/Starry Night Prefs/Sky Data <--- create the folder here

    To learn more about why we are creating an Asterisms folder in this location please read this KB article:

    Put the "Happy Face Asterism.txt" in the new Asterisms folder.

    Start Starry Night 7


    1. Click the Constellations options from the Options on the right (or search "Constellations")

    2. Click on the word "Stick Figures" to open the submenu options

    3. Choose the "Happy Face Asterisms" Group Name.

    4. Click "OK"

    See the Happy Face!


    1. Search for "Happy Face Asterism"
    2. Right-click on the search result and choose "Center"
    3. You may want to change the location and time in order to better see the Happy Face Asterism.

    Creating your own asterism. The best part! Just open the "Happy Face Asterism.txt" file and read the comments, follow along.


    <!-- This is a reference HTML file to teach about creating asterisms in Starry Night software.

    This file is a <A HREF="">Starry Night document.</A>
    <SN_VALUE name="Version" value="Pro (Mac) - p310c-EM">
    <SN_VALUE name="VersionSKU" value="p310c-EM">
    <SN_VALUE name="charset" value="Macintosh-ASCII">

    <!-- Ignore, and do not modify, the code above.


    <!-- The format below is quite straightforward. You need to specify a name for your new set of asterisms. This one is Happy Face Asterism. For each asterism in the set, you need to enter the asterism's name, the approximate position in the sky of the asterism's centre, and each of the lines between stars that define the shape and size of this asterism.     ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


    <!-- The Asterism's Center - here you can specify the RA/Dec for your asterism. -->

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismCentreDec" value="54.94571667"> <!-- J2000 Value -->
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismCentreRA" value="242.54550000"> <!-- J2000 Value -->

    <!-- Note: if you need help finding this RA & Dec J2000 value format used above you can do it this way:
        1. Right click on the area of sky in Starry Night that you want to use as the center of your asterism
        2. Choose Add FOV indicator (Circular) from the drop down list.
        3. On the panel that opens take the RA & DEC values seen. For my example: RA= 16h 10.182m Dec= 53° 56.743'
        4. Go to the following website:
        5. Following with my example - enter the RA & Dec as follows: RA= 16 15.788 Dec= 54 14.185 (we are just dropping the symbols here)
        6. Press Calculate
        7. You will see the J2000 output which can be used for the format above.    


    <!-- The Asterism's Name -->

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismCommonName" value="Happy Face Asterism"> <!-- Give your asterism a name! --->

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismConstellationNum" value="100"> <!-- Do not modify this line of code -->


    <!-- Below are the asterism's lines that define its eyes, nose, smile, shape and size. Each line value has two stars. Importantly, you must use the name of the star as it is found in Starry Night; i.e. HIP85086 or Grumium. Again, one thing that you need to be sure of is to use the EXACT name, as shown in our "Info" pane, for the star you want to use. If you don't, it won't find the star correctly.


    <!-- The Left Eye

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_1" value="Line,HIP84573,HIP85112">

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_2" value="Line,HIP81693,HIP81833">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_3" value="Line,HIP81833,HIP83947">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_4" value="Line,HIP83947,HIP84380">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_5" value="Line,HIP84380,HIP81693">


    <!-- The Right Eye

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_6" value="Line,HIP89981,HIP91013">

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_7" value="Line,HIP85670,HIP85829">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_8" value="Line,HIP85829,HIP87585">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_9" value="Line,HIP87585,HIP87833">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_10" value="Line,HIP87833,HIP85670">


    <!-- The Nose

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_11" value="Line,HIP80331,HIP75539">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_12" value="Line,HIP75539,HIP75458">


    <!-- The Smile

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_13" value="Line,HIP73555,HIP71075">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_14" value="Line,HIP71075,HIP65378">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_15" value="Line,HIP65378,HIP61281">
    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_16" value="Line,HIP61281,HIP69112">


    <!-- The next line of code is the name of your asterism again

    <SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismName" value="Happy Face Asterism">


    <!-- The lines of code below is used to make this file selectable from the Sub Menu

    <SN_VALUE name="AsterismGroupName" value="Happy Face Asterism">
    <SN_VALUE name="SearchThisGroup" value="Yes">



    <!-- Now, another important note about the code is the following - look at each line of code with the following:
        SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_1"
        SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_2"
        SN_VALUE name="1_AsterismLine_3"
        If you want to make another different asterism, and include it in the same file, the you need to repeat the code as above, but, you also ned to modify the code so that it reads like this:
        SN_VALUE name="2_AsterismLine_1"
        SN_VALUE name="2_AsterismLine_2"
        SN_VALUE name="2_AsterismLine_3"
        And, again for a third asterism:
        SN_VALUE name="3_AsterismLine_1"
        SN_VALUE name="3_AsterismLine_2"
        SN_VALUE name="3_AsterismLine_3"