Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar

The Solar Calendar: A Cesar Chavez Memorial


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Solar Calendar Planetarium software

Stellarium is a great open-source planetarium program. From their web site: Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. Stellarium includes constellation lines and art (which can be turned on or off) that will help you "see" the constellations.

And one of the coolest features of Stellarium is the ability to add your own landscape as the ground you see below the stars. I have created a landscape panorama photograph from the Solar Calendar that you can place into the program, and see the stars as you would from the Solar Calendar. The process is fairly simple. The instructions below are for Windows XP, but should be similar in other Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. If you're not familiar with changing text and configuration files, please don't change any files that are not in the Stellarium folders. If you don't change any files except those in Stellarium folders, if you make a mistake you'll only "mess up" the Stellarium program, and you can easily reinstall it if you do.
  1. Download Stellarium from their web site. You can run it on Windows, Macs (OS X), or Linux. Then install the program by following the instructions (usually just double-clicking on the file).
  2. Find the directory (folder) that holds the landscape images (usually C:\Program Files\Stellarium\landscapes. Create a new folder called chavez.
  3. Download the photo. It's a big file (2.1 MB), so it may take a while to download. Save the image file into the chavez folder you just created. If you'd like a higher resolution image, Download chavez-solar-calendar-large.png (8.3 MB) and save it without the -large portion of the name.
  4. June 2007 Caution: The instructions below are for version 0.9 of Stellarium, the current version. The instructions have changed somewhat from version 0.8, so if you have 0.8 on your machine, I'd recommend upgrading to 0.9
  5. Download the landscape.ini file here. Save it in the chavez folder you just created.
  6. To set the program's default longitude and latittude to the Solar Calendar, find the config.ini file for Stellarium (usually at C:\Documents and Settings\[your log in name]\Stellarium\config, and it should show up as a program item in your Windows "Start" menu) then open it with a text editor (Notepad or other program that won't add extra code; I'd recommend not using Word). Replace the [init_location] code at the end of the file:
    name                           = Solar Calendar
    latitude                       = +37d52'23.20"
    longitude                      = -122d19'17.1"
    altitude                       = 10
    landscape_name                 = Chavez
    time_zone                      = system_default
    time_display_format            = system_default
    date_display_format            = system_default
    home_planet                    = Earth
  7. Start the program! It should start with the Solar Calendar photograph and location.
If you have any problems getting the program to run with the Solar Calendar photo, drop me an email and I'll try to help you get it going. (Lee AT TeacherResourceExchange DOT org)

Lee (Amosslee) Trampleasure's Science Education Pages
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