Setting an Object as the Center

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An object is defined as a natural body, spacecraft, sensor, observation, or reference point. All named objects can be found and set as the center using the search panel but not all objects can be set as the center by mouse clicks.
Setting an object as the center makes that object the pivot point around which the camera and the rest of the solar system will move on the screen.
Once an object is set as the center, all camera/observer view adjustments will be relative to it. When an object is set as the center, a note will appear on the top of the screen that states, “Set center to [name of object].” The default central object is the Sun.
The object that is set as the center is indicated by a rotating marker or by an arrow when it is off-screen.
Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.09.07 AMWhen the central object is off-screen, it can be put back into the center of the camera view by using the Point at function described in Rotating Camera. The rotating marker disappears when the view is zoomed into the central object. Both the rotating marker and the arrow center indicators can be toggled on/off in the Guides section of the Gears icon on the left toolbar.
Note that the central object will not necessarily be in the center of the view.Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.09.13 AM

There are four ways to set an object as the center:

Method(s) to Perform Function
Set object as center
  • Object Menu: Right-click the desired object and click Set as center or Set as Fixed Center from the displayed options. Choosing Set as Fixed Center both sets the clicked object as the new central object AND sets the rendering frame to be that object’s body-fixed frame.
  • Top Menu: Select an object. Go to the Menu bar, click Camera, click Set Center.
  • Keyboard: Select an object. Press COMMAND-C.
  • Alternate Method 1: Go to an object. This automatically sets the object as the new center. Instructions on how to go to an object are detailed in Moving Camera.
  • Alternate Method 2: Click Solar System View in the toolbar. This sets the Sun as the center.