Earth simulation.

Nightshade is simulation and visualization software for teaching and exploring astronomy, Earth science, and related topics.

Digitalis leads the Nightshade project, which is run under an open model where anyone can submit a bug report or feature request and otherwise get involved. Most source code is openly available and our development roadmap is public.

Our emphasis is on usability, realism, feature stability, and performance. Nightshade is largely backward compatible with scripts for Stellarium 0.8.2 and earlier using the StratoScript™ language developed and maintained by Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.

Digitarium systems currently use Nightshade Legacy but this will soon be superceeded by Nightshade NG.

Experience Nightshade NG New Features!

Nightshade NG (Next Generation)

  • Nightshade NG is a complete rewrite from the ground up, with the first full release planned for mid 2016.
  • NG throws out the limitations inherited from earlier projects in favor of advanced features supported by cutting-edge simulation techniques.
  • Commercially licensed versions for dome use will be exclusive to Digitarium systems:
    • Nightshade NG Professional — Currently in Beta release.
    • Nightshade NG Basic — A lower cost version with more limited features, such as travel only within our solar system.

Read more about Nightshade or download a free preview desktop version at

Nightshade NG is a free upgrade for Digitarium users with at least Operating Platform 5 (OP5).

More About Nightshade NG

Test volumetric model.

Planned or implemented features include:

  • A terrain engine, for realistic and detailed terrain imagery and topographic data for select planets such as the Earth
  • Fly through the solar system, to other stars, and even outside of the Milky Way galaxy
  • Extensive 3D galaxy database
  • Improved atmosphere rendering to encompass on and above Earth views
  • The ability to view 3D models of irregular bodies such as asteroids or spacecraft, or even user loaded models such as chemical compounds
  • Volumetric model support for 3D simulations of diffuse objects such as nebulae and galaxies.

All currently shipping Digitarium systems are ready for Nightshade NG.

Test screenshot of Earth, Nightshade NG development. Test screenshot of Europa, Nightshade NG development.
Test screenshot of Earth atmosphere and terrain, Nightshade NG development. Test screenshot of Earth sunset, Nightshade NG development.

Nightshade is a registered trademark and StratoScript is a trademark of Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.