There is one thing missing from Stellarium: satellites. You may see lots of low-orbit satellites right after sunset. Some of them are civil and their orbits are published. Orbits of many military satellites are known too because amateur satellite observers are watching them.
Calculating positions for many satellites can be very CPU-intensive. But you can save CPU cycles by recalculating position every frame only for those satellites that can be visible right here and right now. Others can be updated every second or so just to track them.
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Current ISS orbital parameters can be found in the Two Line Element (TLE) at
with a description of the format at http://www.orbitessera.com/html/tle_format.html
Please could someone comment on the process of converting the TLE data into something that could be put in the ssystem.ini file. If you could just give the theory I will do the downloading and parsing manually.
This would be very good - an excellent educational tool, particularly showing the geostationary belt.
It would be good if you could actually view from a satellite too.
thought i'd bump this up again .... any plans?
Are there any plans to implememt this?
A further (ihmo very nice) link for satellite observation
In the current version you could define the
satellite in ssystem.ini with an elliptic orbit
around the earth.
With the current CVS version you can position
yourself onto any solar system body, including
your satellite (home_planet in config.ini).
This might be good enough for educational
The problem with artificial satellites,
minor planets and comets is that their orbit
always change. You have to download new orbits
from the internet quite frequently in order to
keep accuracy. I think the management of the
download and parsing of the files would be most
part of the work.
can i see the location of the geostationary satellites?