I just discovered the meteor option in 0.6.2.
WOW. It really has got a radiant, but its localisation in the sky is just somewhere. For a future version it would be nice to click somewhere and set the radiant position. Or the radiant could be set from a table of meteor showers (e.g. the IMO list)
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Currently the radiant is at the apex of the Earth's way, the leading side of the Earth as it travels through space. In reality, comet dust trails have their own unique velocity vectors, which is what produces radiants in different locations.
The first solution for changing the radiant will be through the scripting feature we are adding in 0.7.0. This version already has more realistic meteor showers - 0.6.2 draws too many meteors near the horizon.
>The first solution for changing the radiant will be through the scripting feature we are adding in 0.7.0. This version already has more realistic meteor showers - 0.6.2 draws too many meteors near the horizon. <
That is promising! In fact people looking on the leonid storms from high flighing aircraft DID see an enormous number of meteors close to the horizon, since the overlooked space is larger. Of course this is only true when atmospheric extinction is not the limit.
In any case I showed Stellarium at the reccent lecture meeting of our Astronomy club here, and people were absolutely amazed.
By the way: Sirko Molau once programmed a very reallistic meteor simulation, allowing for different velocities, radiant altitudes, r-values etc. Perhaps he could give some useful advice.
His homepage is
The DOS-software is at
(but you need real DOS to run it, and it won't run on some hardware configurations).
See Luethen H, Molau S (1998) Can visual observers accurately estimate meteor rates in meteor storms? WGN 26: 109-117