This is the help page for the Celestia Motherlode site. It should explain everything a user needs to know to use the site and how to get live help in case something is not clear or some functionality is broken.

Obtaining Celestia
The Celestia program has its own website. Though there is some overlap, the people that develop Ceelstia are not the same as those that are involved with this site. hosts the official releases of Celestia. You can find all supported releases of Celestia at the Sourceforge Celestia download page. Pre-release executables with newer features but more bugs are usually available by checking the Celestia forum.

Using the Catalog
The catalog is the main part of the Motherlode site. Its sections can be accessed using the floating nav menu on the left side of the screen or the links on the main page. Each catalog entry lists the name, creator, size, a screenshot, and some info for each add-on. Clicking the small picture will reveal a larger picture. Clicking the file name will download the file to your computer, so it can be installed into Celestia. (If you are using a browser that asks whether you would like to open the file with a program or save the file to disk, you should choose to save the file to disk. Then see the Installation Guide for further instructions.) Clicking the creator name will take you to that creator's info page, where you can see the contact info and the other files that that creator has hosted here. Clicking on the magnifying glass inf the info column will take you to the file's "details page," where more info can be found about it. In the details page, you can also submit a screenshot fo the add-on, leave comments about the add-on for others users, or rate the add-on's quality. Rating and commenting help other users evaulate desirable add-ons more easily, so please do this for any add-ons you are familiar with.

Installing Add-ons
Most add-ons should come with instructions for installation. If they do not, and you are unsure what to do, read the Add-on Installation Guide. This is an excellent guide for anyone who has never installed an add-on before. If, after reading the guide, you still can't get the add-on to work, do NOT contact the Motherlode staff. We don't provide support for the add-ons that we host. Ask for help from the creator of the add-on by clicking on their name, or post on the Celestia forum.

Finding Installed Add-ons
After you have installed the add-on, you'll need to quit and relaunch Celestia. This is because Celestia only reads the data files when it is launched. Any changes you make will not be apparent until you start Celestia again. If you are installing a new object in Celestia, visit the object by pressing return to bring up the target entry window. As you begin to type the name of the add-on, Celestia will try to guess what object you want. You can press the TAB key to cycle through Celestia's guesses. When the window displays the name you want, press return again. You may have to go to the solar system where the object is located before its name will appear in the target entry window. Its solar system will be visible in the .ssc catalog that came with the add-on. When the correct object has been selected, press the 'g' key to go to it. You should move toward the boject and it should come into view. If you move somewhere, but an object is not visible, make sure that rendering for that object is enabled in the Rendering menu. If the proper rendering is enabled, but you still see nothing, it is possible that the object is not defined during the time that you are simulating for Celestia. This could occur with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, for example, which crashed into Jupiter during July 1994. Celestia will still take you to a location for objects which no longer exist, but nothing will be displayed. To view the object, set the time to something more apprpriate.

If you are installing a different texture for an object that already exists in Celestia, it may be defined as an alternate texture. To view an alternate texture, you will need to right-click on the object and select the alternate texture from the menu you see. If you still have trouble getting your new add-on to work, you may want to read the ssc, stc or dsc file for clues to how and where the object should appear in Celestia. Even the smallest error can cause Celestia to function incorrectly, so be careful.

Contacting the Motherlode Staff
If you need to report site problems, please use the contact form. Remember that this is only for site issues, like broken links or info about add-ons, not installation issues. home page Page last updated: December 11, 2019