This page last modified 2001 October 18

Astronomical Software

Please be aware that some of these are programs are shareware and require a payment to the author if you use them beyond the trial period

Many of the program descriptions are the author's, not mine (I'm too idle to type if I can cut-and-paste! <g>). If you have a problem with the program, please contact the author.

There is a separate list of software appropriate to telescope making here. WIN32s, Win95, 98, NT Astronomy Lab 2 is one of the most innovative, interesting, and useful 32-bit Windows shareware astronomy programs available. Astronomy Lab 2 generates animated movies that simulate a host of astronomical events (including solar and lunar eclipses, lunar occultations, planetary occultations, transits of Mercury and Venus, the orbits of Jupiter's bright moons, and the motions of the planets in the plane of the ecliptic). In addition, Astronomy Lab 2 produces several reports that contain predictions of the most important and exciting astronomical events of the present, future and past. Also, Astronomy Lab 2 generates several graphs that illustrate many fundamental astronomical concepts.

CIRCUMSPACE v1.0 DOS 192kb A space travel simulator from the author of SkyGlobe. Displays the sky as seen from anywhere within several hundred light years of Earth. Click to travel instantly to any of 7780 stars, or choose the warp mode to animate the journey quickly and smoothly. Learn which stars are neighbours and which distant. A great way to show off 386 and local bus technology. No maths chip needed. $15 reg.

ECU (Earth Centred Universe) Dave Lane's excellent shareware planetarium and telescope control program. .

*EYEPIECE-LE 2.6 LIGHT EDITION is a "telescope simulator" program using artificial intelligence to calculate all operating parameters for viewing planets, stars, and deep-sky objects, using eyepieces and filters. The author offers other software at:

DOB_PC DOS 165kb Displays the object's Azimuth and Elevation in real-time on the screen. As well as a Dobsonian telescope, you need a laptop personal computer which is running under MS-DOS or Windows. No advanced graphics modes are required. DOB-PC will even work with a PC based on an 8088. You need a 3.5 inch disk drive which can be used to load the program and data files onto your hard disk or, if you have no hard disk, to run the program directly from the floppy disk. You simply choose an object, which can be a bright star, a Messier object, an NGC object or a planet, and DOB_PC displays, on the screen of your laptop computer, the direction to point your Dobsonian at that particular instant. DOS, 26kb Given mirror diameter, focal ratio and eyepiece details, this program will compute: Aperture, Mirror F.L., Effective F-stop, Eyepiece F.L., Telescope Power, Eye Relief, Ramsden Disk, Mag. Limit, Dawes Limit. Includes Pascal source code.

PC-space DOS, 114kb: navigate space in realistic 3-D with this freeware simulator.

Planet DOS, 43kb This Program computes information relating to the position, distance, magnitude, etc.. for the major planets on a specified date and time. Refer to PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY WITH YOUR CALCULATOR by Peter Duffett-Smith for the calculation methods. Includes Pascal source code.

react.bas DOS, 4kb A small QBASIC utility that uses blinking stars to measure your reaction time. Use this to establish your personal equation for occultation timings. DOS, 271kb Displays Alt and Az of object or of point of known RA and Dec. This software was initially written to make life easier for owners of Dobsonian reflecting telescopes, which use simple alt- azimuth mountings, instead of the heavier and more expensive equatorial mountings found on many telescopes. However, it has turned out to be extremely valuable for observers using any kind of telescope, or binoculars. It allows one to determine very quickly whether an object is visible, and if so, how high in the sky it is. It also allows one to select a sequence of objects, and display information about each one. It corrects positions of objects in catalogs for precession, and also contains a very accurate determination of local sidereal time, typically within one or two seconds of the sidereal time calculated by the U.S. Naval Observatory's "Floppy Almanac". This information is updated continuously, yielding accurate real-time values for an object's altitude, azimuth, and for sidereal time, for as long as you wish. Win95, 985kb Program to design various types of sundials for any given location.

SKYGLOBE v3.6 DOS 369kb Award-winning Top Ten PC planetarium program that is fast, fun, and easy to use. SkyGlobe has over 29,000 stars, constellation lines, the planets, Sun, and Moon, the Milky Way, the Messier Objects, and much more. It is the fastest program of its kind available, and uses the mouse or convenient command keys. Now with better printing, GIF image display, and support for up to 250,000 stars! $20 reg fee.

StarClock1.0 DOS, 70kb is a freeware program for PC/DOS machines (VGA required) which animates evolution of stars (0.8 to 25 solar masses, solar metallicity) in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, more exactly in the log(L/L_solar) vs. log(T_eff) plane.

StarTrak Psion 3 series is a computerised database, containing information on the planets, all the Messier objects, as well as a number of other objects in the sky.

TrakSatDOS 602kb TRAKSAT is an excellent general purpose satellite tracking program,which uses any NORAD or NASA two-line elements (TLEs). It offers sky display and ground tracks in various projections.

WinMeeus Win3.1 116kb (aka AstroWin and AstroMeeus) Accurately calculates solar system phenomena (rise and set times, lunar phase, calendars, eclipses, twilight, etc.). It is an implementation of selected algorithms from Astronomical Formulae for Calculators by Jean Meeus.

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