FAQ about Stars in Starry Night


    Starry Night FAQ

    Stars - Information on the star data in Starry Night


    1. Where does the star data in Starry Night come from?

    The star data for the nearest million or so stars comes from the Hipparcos/Tycho catalogue, which is the result of a recent mission by the European Space Agency. Find out more about this catalog at the Hipparcos Project home page. The star data for dimmer stars comes from the Hubble Guide Star Catalog. Stars from this catalog are distinguished by the "GSC" at the beginning of their names.


    2. Can I move the stars from the Hubble Guide Star Catalog from the CD to my hard drive?

    Yes, if you have sufficient space (the files are about 400MB in total. There is a folder named "Hubble" on the CD. Move each file in this folder into the "Starry Night Pro\Starry Night Pro Data" folder on your hard drive. You cannot simply move the "Hubble" folder and make it a subfolder of "Starry Night Pro Data", but must move each file individually. After you do this, you will not need the CD at all when you run Starry Night, unless you want to look at one of the pre-made files in the "Eclipses" folder.


    3. How do I search for stars in the various star catalogs?

    Choose "Selection | Find" from the main menu. For stars in the Hipparcos catalog, type "HIPxxxxx", where "xxxxx" is the star's Hipparcos catalog number. For stars in the Tycho catalog, type "TYCxxxx-xxxx-x", where "xxxx-xxxx-x" is the star's Tycho catalog number. For stars in the Hubble Guide Star catalog, type "GSCxxxx-xxxx", where "xxxx-xxxx" is the star's Hubble Guide Star catalog number. For stars in the SAO catalog, type "SAOxxxxx", where "xxxxx" is the star's SAO catalog number.


    4. After I do a search for a star in the SAO database, it displays the star with the Hipparcos or Tycho catalog number. Can I have Starry Night display the SAO number for the star?

    Unfortunately, no. Starry Night will only display the Hipparcos or Tycho number.


    5. When I zoom far away from the earth, the stars all appear to group together in a ball around the sun. Is this the Miky Way?

    No, this is a limitation of our star catalog. Starry Night has distances to about 100 000 stars from the Hipparcos Catalog. Most of the stars in this catalog are within a few hundred light years of the sun, so as you zoom out farther than this, they appear to cluster around the sun.


    6. Can I add recently discovered planets around stars other than our sun?

    No. A future version of Starry Night may add this feature.



    • Avatar
      Major Mazzaroth

      why does the sun look like a toy star when viewed from Titan ?

    • Avatar
      Keiron Smith

      Hi Major,

      Please attach a pic/screenshot of what you see. Thanks!

      Edited by Keiron Smith