Wednesday, January 25, 2023

decimal lat/long allowed in Stellarium

A question was posed in last night's Stellarium computer level 2 intermediate course regarding setting up a custom location.

I paraphrase: "Can you copy the latitude and longitude coordinates from Google Maps into Stellarium."

At the time, I thought the answer was "Yes." I thought I had done it before... 

Today I tested this in Stellarium (1.2 on Linux) I can confirm it does indeed work. But a bit of care or precision is merited. 

  1. In Stellarium, in the vertical toolbar, click the Location Window button or press F6 (Fn F6 on some laptops). 
  2. Select/highlight all the content in the Latitude field and delete it. I.e. blank the field. 
  3. In Google Maps, find your target observing site, zoom in, pan about to get the exact spot. Carefully select/highlight in the browser URL address line the latitude decimal value, e.g. 42.6865339, without any other data, just the digits and the decimal point within. 
  4. Copy the lat value. The Ctrl or Cmd C keyboard shortcut is handy. 
  5. Paste the lat value into Stellarium. Ctrl or Cmd V. You will see Stellarium immediately convert it to degrees, minutes, and seconds. Make sure it is North or South as needed. 
  6. Repeat for the Longitude value. It seems Stellarium recognises the MINUS value to mean WEST longitude. Yeh. Helpful for us in the Americas. But  double-check that. 
You'll need to figure out the elevation, if necessary, by some other means... 

Good luck. 


I shared this in the Stellarium social space for the RASC training courses, served up by Google Classroom.


Deborah M commented on my post. "Good to know, thank you. Great instructions."

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