GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Code-in 2012 KDE

Marble: Constellation lines - Going down the River of Hades

completed by: zbirnholz1

mentors: Torsten Rahn, Dennis Nienhüser

During Google Code-In the Stars Plugin has been revamped and constellation lines as well as Deep Sky objects have been added.


This task is about adding more objects. Check out Marble's source code ( will tell you how) and open the file


As a first exercise we want to add the following ones:

  • Indus ( with exactly these constellation lines:
  • Fornax ( with exactly these constellation lines:
  • Phoenix ( with exactly these constellation lines: )


Then start KStars and do Eridanus, please:


  • Click the "binocular toolbar button". Enter "Eridanus"
  • Zoom in using the magnifier toolbar buttons
  • Double Click on each star and determin the associated greek letter (appears on the top right) 
  • Start with Beta Eridani, leave out lambda Eridani.
  • More details about the whole procedure below



Creating the constellation lines works like this: you look up the stars one by one that are part of the lines: In the constellation Centaurus (, done in a previous task)  you could start of with the Star named Toliman which is "Alpha Centauri" or short "Alp Cen". Look up "Alp Cen" in the file




After some search it turns out there is no "Alp Cen" but "Alp1Cen" and "Alp2Cen" because Alpha Centauri is a double star. We take the brighter component (with the lower magnitude number which is +0.71 in this case). And we identify the first number in the catalog line which is "5459". The number "5459" is the number we need to enter into the constellations.dat filel Then we continue to do the same with the next star in the line: "Beta Centauri" ("Bet Cen") and find that the number at the start of the catalog line is 5267. etc. An index number "-1" is used to start a new line string. All stars are designated after the greek alphabet:


You can find out more about the designation at: