Real Stars Skybox

Real Stars Skybox Plus

Note: Real Stars Skybox Plus is now available for $5 at the Unity Asset Store.

So, I’ve made a thing, and am very proud of that thing and am going to shout about it a bit! Actually, I’ve made two things.

The first thing I’ve made is a skybox of the celestial sphere. Skyboxes are 360 degree panoramic images used in computer games to easily create a distant background. Usually they’re pictures of pretty skies and distant mountains. I’ve made a 360 degree panorama of (almost) all the visible stars in the sky using real astronomical data.

I took a giant star catalogue, found the 5000 brightest, and used my favourite 3D modelling program (POV-Ray) to simulate their positions, colours, and brightness. With a lot of tweaking, I tried balance realism with the beauty of the stars. Finally, I added names to some of the stars and drew outlines of the constellations to help find your way around.

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