This is Selden's Novice Guide to Celestia: Installing a Panorama


0.0 Introduction.

Celestia is a free, real-time, 3D space simulation. You can use it to view our Solar System and the surrounding stars from any viewpoint you like -- from the surface of the Earth, from outside the Galaxy, or trailing along behind the Cassini Saturn probe. Celestia runs best on a computer that includes a 3D graphics card, but it'll also work on a computer that does not have one.

More information about Celestia is available at

Philmont is a mountainous High Adventure Base run by the Boy Scouts of America. It's located in northeastern New Mexico. More than 20,000 people visit it each year for 10 days of exploration, hiking and fun.

More information about Philmont is available at the official BSA page at or Selden's unofficial page at

This is an attempt to show how to install Celestia on a computer running Windows. (Celestia also is available for MacOS and Linux.) Following that, it shows the steps used to install and view a panorama -- an immersive picture of the peak of the Tooth of Time on Philmont Scout Ranch on our planet Earth.

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1.0 Installing Celestia.

Here's how to download and run the Celestia installation program.

Warning: your computer must not use a "download accelerator" program. They mess up the transfer something awful. If you have one installed, you should de-install it completely. Use the Windows "Control Panel" utility "Add or Remove Programs" to get rid of it.

Click on the small pictures below to see much larger versions.

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2.0 Installing a Panorama.

Now that you have Celestia installed and have explored it a little, here's how to install an Addon. This uses the Philmont "Tooth of Time" panorama as its example.

Look at the Web page where this panorama Addon is provided:

Scroll down to the link to the Zip file and click on it.
[Web page of Philmont ToT Panorama]
Web page of Philmont ToT Panorama

This will immediately start your Browser's download procedure. Save the Zip file someplace convenient. (I keep all my downloaded Addon Zip files in a download folder so I can reinstall them if necessary.)

After the Zip file has been downloaded, extract its contents to Celestia's /extras/ folder. The Zip file contains both folders and files. The files must stay in the folders. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to select (double-click) on the Zip file's icon and then drag the folder /tot-panorama-v3/ out of the Zip file into Celestia's /extras/ folder.
[Zip to extras]
out of Zip into extras folder

Next, open the panorama's folder and Select (double-click on) the HTML page tot.html

Now it's time to look at the panorama!

Select (SINGLE-click) on the line that says "panoramic viewpoint". It will start Celestia, if it isn't already running, and then place you in the center of the panorama. As the HTML page says, if you put your numeric keypad into "numeric lock" mode, you can use the 4 and 6 keys to look around.
[tot.html panorama]
tot.html -> panorama

After you've admired the panorama for a while, you can look around outside it.

Select one of the other links in the HTML page. Use your mouse to look around. Hold down the left-mouse-button and slide the mouse back and forth slowly.

More navigation commands and other features are described in Celestia's Help menu. Many details are described in the Celestia User's Guide.

Have fun!


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A.0 Appendices.