New post

New Comet Data Does Not Download for SNPP6 or SNPP7

Cannot obtain new comet data, like for 46P/Wirtanen, and others during 2018, for either SNPP6 (v. 6.4.3) or SNPP7 (v.  Using Macbook Pro, running OS X Sierra.


  • 0
    Sarah Flynn

    Same here on Windows 10.

  • 0
    Kym Taborn

    Where does one find the new comet data? When I click on update program, it says there are no updates. I am running Windows 10. Where do you find the new data?

  • 0
    Perry Holcomb

    Try Stellarium!


  • 0
    Keiron Smith

    For Starry Night V6 please do the following:

    1. Make sure you go to File -> Preferences -> StartUp -> increase the number of default comets read in at startup to 2000.
    2. Restart the app.
    3. Search for 46P/Wirtanen

    Still don't find it?  Then, add it yourself - read on:


    Adding Comets Multiple Comets

    Starry Night looks for a file called Comets.txt when it starts up and, if found, will load the positions of the first 100 comets found in this file. Since the orbital elements of comets are constantly changing it is a good idea to update this Comets.txt file from time to time. The Comets.txt file contains positions of comets calculated by the Planetary Services Division of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    1. To update Starry Night 6's comet data: open the Comets.txt file in your web browser by clicking the Comets.txt link above. 
    2. Select "Save As..." from your browser\'s File menu and replace the Comets.txt file in Sky Data folder. 
    3. Be sure to save the file as "text" and make sure the C in Comets.txt is a capital letter C.


    Single Comets

    If you are tracking a specific comet that you want to add to Starry Night try using the Orbit Editor. The Orbit Editor is a good tool for learning about celestial mechanics. Celestial mechanics is usually passed over in introductory Astronomy courses, because the mathematics and time needed to grasp orbital concepts is just too involved for most students. Starry Night provides an interactive simulator where the orbital elements of an object can be changed in a visual manner making a complex subject understandable and, dare we say it, fun.

    For more information about adding a new planet, asteroid, satellite, moon, or comet to Starry Night see "Using the Orbit Editor".

    For missing comets in Starry Night V7 please see here:

    Why Is Comet 21P Giacobani-Zinner (And Others) Missing From The Database? (Solution: Read On)

  • 0
    Ken Holtgrewe

    It seems that once you have modified the Comets.txt manually, then after that, you can't apply any update patches. They consistently fail saying the patch could not be applied to Comets.txt. A search for that issue shows several people have mentioned this and opened support tickets, but the issue is still there. 

Please sign in to leave a comment.