Nightshade Project History


Stellarium open source desktop planetarium software started in the year 2000 by Fabian Chereau.


Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. sponsored fisheye projection, contributed features, and used this in its Digitarium brand digital planetarium systems from 2003-2006. One of the major contributions was the StratoScript scripting language designed and implemented by Digitalis (2005).


Digitalis branched Stellarium, creating a Digitalis Edition to isolate its users from regressions caused by the other developers – since the other developers were focused on desktop uses, critical planetarium related features kept getting broken. We had a goal of merging back into Stellarium in the future.


After the StratoScript engine was removed from Stellarium we decided our directions were incompatible and created the Nightshade project focused on planetarium and educator type users. Major new features included viewing planets from above, 3D depth buffering for realism, and a control library.


After years of frustration dealing with the crippling architectural limitations we had inherited from Stellarium, we decided to start a project to rewrite Nightshade from scratch. Since 2011, almost 100% of our development team’s resources have gone into this new version, Nightshade NG.

Version 11.x is the last of the Nightshade Legacy series.


First preview release of Nightshade NG is published. We make the difficult decision to change to a dual licensing model.


Nightshade NG goes through a number of preview releases and then finally enters Beta release for planetarium users.


Nightshade NG starts shipping for Digitarium planetarium systems.


A large internal refactor of Nightshade NG is completed and released for planetarium systems.


Our third generation Nightshade G3 software is launched. One of the powerful new features is cascading attribute support.