Better planets :)

  • Anonymous - 2013-03-18

    When looking at the real night sky, planets such as Jupiter and Venus appear very bright (big). However in Stellarium the planets do not appear big, unless the relative scale is set to very little. I think, when the relative and absolute scales are set to 1, the planets would appear much larger (ie brighter) than the stars.

    I hope someone gets what I'm trying to tell :)

  • barrykgerdes

    barrykgerdes - 2013-03-18

    The brightness of the objects on the display is a relative. The brightness of planets is set by their apparent magnitude which can vary due to their position. Setting of the scales is a way to make your computer's luminance match what you see.


  • Anonymous - 2013-03-18

    Yes, but for example the planet Jupiter has a magnitude which is always below Sirius. But because the lower magnitude the brighter object, Jupiter is always brighter than Sirius, the brightest star of the night sky. However, Sirius appears as a larger "dot" than Jupiter when the stellar settings are relative=1, absolute=1. Jupiter should look brighter than Sirius in all theese settings.

  • barrykgerdes

    barrykgerdes - 2013-03-19

    Stellarium displays the magnitudes correctly. Set the relative display to a lower figure eg LCD screens are best at .65 until it suits your taste. If you don't like the default setting

    Stars are a point source of light and displayed according to colour temperature and will appear brighter. Planets have a measurable dimension and the light is reflected so it is diffused over a larger area and will seem dimmer than a star of similar brightness.


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      Anonymous - 2016-06-22

      I know it's an old thread and all, but is there anything that backs this up? The average human eye has an angular resolution of about 1', and Jupiter is at most 50'', making it no different from a star to the unaided human eye. Furthermore, wide-angle photos show that cameras view planets as brighter than stars, if their magnitude is lower. Look at this:

      This link show a picture of Venus, Jupiter and Sirius in the same frame. The very bright light is the Moon. Both Jupiter and Venus appear brighter to the camera.

  • gzotti

    gzotti - 2016-06-23

    Actually Stellarium computes planetary magnitudes correctly (even for 3 flavours of "correctly"!), but then apparently uses a different algorithm to create the star circle disk diameter for stars and planets. These could indeed be harmonized a bit better so that e.g. Jupiter would become larger than Sirius etc.
    I filed a bug report, please continue any discussion there.



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