Stellar scintillation

Hello, I hope the Microsoft Flight Simulator developers see this topic and consider it. :slight_smile:

I have been flying a lot at night. I love how peaceful it is. However, when I stare at the stars, something isn’t right, they don’t “twinkle”. It feels like im looking at a steady picture and breaks the immersion a little bit… It would be amazing if they could mimic the stellar scintilation phenomenon… Thanks for your time

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That’s one of the drawbacks of having a “sky box” textured night sky like in MSFS, compared to stars rendered as spots/sprites from real positions/coordinates. The latter would also scale the limiting magnitude correctly depending on sky-brightness/lightpollution. But the milkyway would probably require a texture.
So my idea: “Starless” texture for the milkyway, and stars generated from a catalogue like GSC , or similar catalog containing position, magnitude and stellar temperature/color , giving twinkling stars in the correct brightness and color, and giving us the feature to just see te brightest stars while under lightpolluted skies.

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That would be great, but…

That takes away a lot of FPS for such a trivial feature. You are asking them to render the sky as individual stays rather than an image plus asking for the flight sim to analyse movement of wind layers and particulate matter above you to see what level of effect needs to be applied.

That is to do it realistically anyway and it it isn’t realistic there is little point.

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I wonder if this is possible, along with other little atmospheric treats like heat radiating off the ground, as the effects become more developed now that it’s possible to add them into the sim?

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A lot of FPS? Not at all…
I’ve been into astronomy for a bunch of years and used planetarium programs doing a very decent job at this many many years go on ancient computers. The FPS hit is far from “a lot”, for placing “dots” / point-lights at the amount of stars visible to the level of dark adaptation your eyes will have in a dark cockpit with a few screens. Backed with a starless texture for the milkyway, this is definitely doable.

Older flightsims have done this with surprisingly good results.
Right now it’s very pretty in some situation. But not very realistic in many…


The stars themselves could be accurate, but the twinkling effect could be fudged, and I doubt anyone would notice. Unless they did it wrong, and it looked like Christmas tree lights.

The human brain is very good at detecting patterns like this, and any repeating pattern would be detected straight away.


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