The KStars Handbook

Jason Harris

Core Developer: Jasem Mutlaq
Core Developer: James Bowlin
Core Developer: Heiko Evermann
Core Developer: Thomas Kabelmann
Core Developer: Pablo de Vicente
Core Developer: Carsten Niehaus
Core Developer: Mark Holloman
Revision 2.1.0 (KDE 4.12) (2013-11-09)

KStars is a graphical desktop planetarium for KDE. It depicts an accurate simulation of the night sky, including stars, constellations, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, all planets, the Sun, the Moon, comets and asteroids. You can see the sky as it appears from any location on Earth, on any date. The user interface is highly intuitive and flexible; the display can be panned and zoomed with the mouse, and you can easily identify objects, and track their motion across the sky. KStars includes many powerful features, yet the interface is clean and simple, and fun to use.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. A Quick Tour of KStars
The Setup Wizard
Have a Look Around
Objects in the Sky
The Popup Menu
Finding Objects
Centering and Tracking
Keyboard Actions
End of the Tour
3. Configuring KStars
Setting the Geographic Location
Setting the Time
The Configure KStars Window
Customizing the Display
4. Command Reference
Menu Commands
File Menu
Time Menu
Pointing Menu
View Menu
Tools Menu
Data Menu
Observation Menu
Settings Menu
Help Menu
Popup Menu
Keyboard Commands
Navigation Keys
Menu Shortcuts
Actions for the Selected Object
Tools Shortcuts
Mouse Commands
5. The AstroInfo Project
AstroInfo: Table of Contents
Celestial Coordinate Systems
The Equatorial Coordinate System
The Horizontal Coordinate System
The Ecliptic Coordinate System
The Galactic Coordinate System
The Celestial Equator
The Celestial Poles
The Celestial Sphere
The Ecliptic
The Equinoxes
Geographic Coordinates
Great Circles
The Horizon
Hour Angle
The Local Meridian
The Zenith
Julian Day
Leap Years
Sidereal Time
Time Zones
Universal Time
Aperture and Focal Ratio
Field of View
Types of Telescopes
Optical Telescopes
Observations in Other Wavelengths
Space-Based Observations
Blackbody Radiation
Dark Matter
Retrograde Motion
Elliptical Galaxies
Spiral Galaxies
Magnitude Scale
Stars: An Introductory FAQ
Star Colors and Temperatures
Cosmic Distance Ladder
Direct measurements
Standard candles
Other methods
6. KStars Tools
Object Details Window
The Astrocalculator
Angular Distance module
Apparent Coordinates module
Ecliptic Coordinates module
Equatorial/Galactic Coordinates module
Horizontal Coordinates module
Geodetic Coordinates module
Planet Coordinates module
Day Duration module
Equinoxes and Solstices module
Julian Day module
Sidereal Time module
Altitude vs. Time Tool
What's Up Tonight? Tool
The Script Builder Tool
Introduction to the Script Builder
Using the Script Builder
Solar System Viewer
Jupiter Moons Tool
Observation Planner
FITS Viewer Tool
7. Command-Line mode for Image Generation
8. Astronomical Device Control with INDI
INDI Setup
Telescope Setup
CCD and Video-Capture Setup
Capture Image Sequence
Configure INDI
INDI Concepts
Remote Device Control
Running an INDI server from the command line
Secure Remote Operation
INDI Frequently Asked Questions
9. Questions and Answers
10. Credits and License
A. Installation
How to obtain KStars
Compilation and Installation

List of Tables

8.1. INDI State color code