Matt’s Celestia Projects

What is Celestia?

Celestia is an open source program which allows you to view astronomical objects by moving around in a space simulation. Versions are available for Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. A basic installation includes models and textures for many planets, moons, and deep sky objects, but you can extend the simulation with add-on packs. One of these add-ons was created by NASA to be used along with their guided exploration activity. This page describes additional add-ons created by Matt Wronkiewicz, which provide a best guess about what some of the objects in the Solar system look like.

More Asteroids

View of 18 Melpomene in Celestia

18 Melpomene, a class S asteroid

The asteroids expansion pack adds forty major asteroids to the Celestia simulation. In addition, it provides several enhancements to the asteroid models included in the base installation. About half of the asteroids are represented by simple triaxial ellipsoids which best fit the asteroid dimenstions. The other half are drawn using shape models generated by the observatory of the University of Helsinki. The asteroids are given colors which are derived from a spectroscopic survey conducted by MIT. All of the new asteroids are given a generic texture which is not intended to accurately represent the surface.

This project would not have been possible without the facet models which Johanna Torppa provided on her web page.

Download for all platforms. Extract the zip archive to the extras directory in your Celestia installation. The new asteroids will become visible in the Solar system catalog. Also, by enabling the orbit path view, you can see the distribution of asteroids in the plane of the Solar system. Feel free to email me at if you run into problems.

Color Generator: spectrum2rgb