It adds a certain amount of stars from the Gaia DR2 catalog to SpaceEngine. All the stars are fetched from the Gaia archive, which means that their position relative to Sol will be an accurate representation of real life. The emergence of dust from the absence of stars is even visible with high magnitude limits in versions that do not have a distance limit. Obviously, more stars = more overall resemblance to the actual survey, and thus more resemblance to what it is like in real life.
1. Download one of the paks from the list below
2. Choose ONE version.
3. Extract one pak file into SpaceEngine\addons folder.
GAIA designation is GAIA DR2 [######]
I suggest to install the 1M-11mag.pak version as it very clearly depicts the overall shape of the GAIA catalog without being too heavy. Disabling procedural stars when increasing mag limit is also a great idea. You can do so by clicking the gear icon on the bottom of the right toolbar and checking off procedural under stars or f4 > filters > tick off procedural under stars.
Below is a list of normal gaia catalogs:
250k-10mag.pak - Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 10.>>DOWNLOAD<<
400k-10point5mag.pak- Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 10.5.>>DOWNLOAD<<
700k-100L.pak - Contains all the stars with a luminosity value greater than 100 Sun L.>>DOWNLOAD<<
1M-11mag.pak - Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 11.>>DOWNLOAD<<
3M-10L.pak- Contains all the stars with a luminosity value greater than 10 Sun L.>>DOWNLOAD<<
5M-1L.pak- Contains all the stars with a luminosity value greater than 1 Sun L.>>DOWNLOAD<<
7M-13mag.pak- Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 13.>>DOWNLOAD<<
14M-14mag.pak- Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 14.>>DOWNLOAD<<
30M-15mag.pak- Contains all the stars brighter than magnitude 15.>>DOWNLOAD<<
The further down the list it is, the more it will have an impact on performance, loading time and stability. The 1M pak is a good middle ground. Anything beyond will require a significant amount of RAM to run. Use at your own risk.
700k-100ky.pak - Simulates where the stars would be 100k years from today. >>DOWNLOAD<<
The further down the list it is, the more the stars will have shifted, and thus the more disorganized everything will be.
Gaia's White Dwarf catalog by FastFourierTransform containing 73 221 white dwarfs. (Highly suggested)
Contains a highly detailed and accurate catalog of white dwarfs, with their 3D positions relative to Earth.
Comparison to real life.
Plan of the Milky way with procedural stars on with Gaia (3819x3717)
Giant Photorealistic Panorama by tRetro-Visor, post processed with photoshop.
My own version, but with 50 million stars, don't worry I downscaled it. Original can be found here: https://www.deviantart.com/phunnieb/art/Mw50mpano-798308402
Don't worry if you don't have an insane gaming computer. This barely affects loading time (below 3M) and won't have any perfomance impacts until you start turning magnitude way up. With magnitude set at default (7), it's as if the addon was not present. All the stars are very dim, and require a high magnitude limit to be able to visually see them (the pictures in the previews were taken at magnitudes 14.5 to 16)
[size=100]If anyone is wondering: Yes those stars are real are present in real life. The planets around the stars, however, are not real. The planets are procedural. Also, the spectral class of the stars are wrong as I could not retrieve any spectral data from the gaia archive.
Side note: Only the stars with the required and useful information were pulled from the search query. All data was fetched from https://gea.esac.esa.int/archive/ and then converted to SE .csv.
Credits go to LucasAstro for making the base converter and saving millions of years of slavery.
Massive thanks to JackDole for pointing out an error in the conversion from GAIA to SE, as well as being very helpful. Also massive thanks to Watsisname for helping with super secret stuff.
V3 - Fixed HIP duplicates, redid all of the versions, increased the range (now up to 30M) and added new "Future" test versions.
V2.91 - Small hotfix for missing clusters in 3M and 4M. 09/12/2018
V2.9 - Changed the algorithm of the way spectral classes are assigned to classes using the HR diagram as a model. Now has more than just the V type class (Main Sequence). Includes Ia (luminous supergiant, Ib(supergiant), II(bright giant), III (giant) and V (main sequence). IV (subgiant) line is ambiguous so I did not add them. Spectral subclass (1-9) are still randomized (does not affect anything). 08/12/2018
V2.6 - Fixed version 800k, 2k and 2M.
V2.5. - "Fixed" the clusters in 800k(missing M 11), 3M, 4M and 5M from pillars of stars to a smaller "cube" of stars.
V2. - Fixed RA, added 4M & 5M.
V1. - Added 2k, 127k, 609k, 800k, 2M, 3M.
-Spectral type and class areinaccurate (all are main sequence, and the class is randomized.) Fixed according to HR diagram. Subclasses (1-9) cannot be accurately determined so they are still random. I and IV classes are not included due to ambiguity or not present in-game.
-There are some duplicate stars for Hipparcos catalog. Fixed in v3.
-Clusters are pillars of stars Fixed, but still not accurate.
-Wrong RA for all stars Fully fixed.