Tools of astronomical interest

Please find below several software package usable for the amateur and the professional.
Suffixes .gz means that the file ist gzipped (you need 'gzip' to decompress), .Z stands for a unix-compressed file (use 'compress' to decompress), .bck characterizes a vms saveset and .zip stands for a zipped file (use 'unzip' to decompress).

Software for Psions

  1. StarTrak:

  2. StarTrak is software and database to guide a Dobsonian telescope (or any telescope with altazimuth mount). Its a freeware program for amateur astronomers. StarTrak runs on the Psion 3, 3a, 3c and 3mx range of handheld computers.

Astronomical clock software

  2. A high-precision digital astronomical clock. It includes the actual values for: Civil date and time, day number in the year; Julian date and modified Julian date both in terms of ephemeris time ET (TT) and universal time UT1; Delta-T, the difference between ET and UT1; Mean solar time, apparent solar time, equation of time; Mean sidereal time, apparent sidereal time, equation of equinoxes; Geocentric ecliptical and equatorial coordinates of sun and moon; Constellation and zodiac sign for the sun; Constellation, zodiac sign, phase, appearance, and illuminated fraction of the moon; Elongation between sun and moon; Earth distance to sun and moon; and more.
    Download Version 3.1 (200kB)
    Original site

Calculating ephemeris

  1. Xephem:

  2. Xephem is an interactive astronomical ephemeris program for X Windows systems. For more detailed info please read the XEphem FAQ.
    Version 3.4 (2.32 MB)
    OS/2 Version (683 kB) (requires lesstif)
    Xephem for batch mode (166 kB)
    German Help File (264 kB)

    Additional xephem databases available

    As Xephem requires at least X11R4 and OSF/Motif 1.1, people without these software packages may use:

  3. Ephem:
  4. ephem_4.28.tar.Z (341 kB)

Moon Observations

  1. Moon Viewer:
  2. Download (540 kB)
    Original (offline? moved?)

  3. Moon Calculator:
  4. Download (206 kB)
    Original siteHave to check.

Stellar Evolution

  1. StarClock:
  2. StarClock V2.0 is a program which animates the evolution of stars (varying from 0.9 to 25 solar masses) the HR diagram. There are several additional features. For more information please refer to the user guide.
    Download (120 kB)
    Original site

Viewing the sky

  1. Celestia:
  2. Celestia is real-time 3D space simulation which lets you travel through our solar system and to over 100,000 stars in our neighborhood.
    Download Version 1.4.1 (source, 23.9 MB)celestia-1.4.1.tar.gz
    Original site /

  3. DeepSky 2000:
  4. DeepSky is a planetarium program for MS Windows. Please note that the version here at MAA is far, far from beeing uptodate. Since Deepsky became more and more extensive it is due to the limited disk space of the archive no longer possible to hold the latest release. This old version may give you an idea of what deepsky is about.
    For Windows 95/NT: DS 99 (38 MB)
    For Windows 3.x (Freeware) V1.1 (5.05 MB)
    Original site

    Additionally available:
    Update Comet Database (703 kB)
    SEDS Messier bmp files (3.56 MB)
    CDROM database with 300000 objects (18.8 MB)
    (registration needed to extract the data)
    Deepsky 98 ADC/CDS Database Import Wizard (BETA 2) (1.2 MB)
    (registered version of Deepsky 97 required)

  5. dObjects:
  6. dObjects is an astronomical database for Windows 95 and Windows NT. More info can be found here.
    Download Version 3.0 (3.1 MB)dObj_f30.exe
    Original site

  7. Earth Centered Universe:
  8. A Planetarium and Telescope Control Program for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, or Windows XP.
    Download Version 4.0 (30 days eval. version)(1.87 MB) ecudemo.exe
    Original site

  9. Eyepiece:
  10. Telescope simulation program (DOS) to calculate the operational parameters for viewing celestial objects (planets, stars, deepsky objects).
    Download only on original site permitted 

  11. PP3:
  12. A program to draw celestial charts.
    Download Version V1.3.2
    Windows Version (1.69 MB)
    Sources (1.27 MB)

    Original site

  13. RedScope:
  14. A double star program which simulates a telescope. See here a brief description of the program.
    Download Version V4.04 (445 kB)
    Original siteNo longer available.

  15. HBase:
  16. HBase is the database of Herschel lists. It is sortable, searchable and printable.
    Download Version (116 kB)hbase1.exe
    Original site

  17. Messier Observer's Guide:
  18. The Messier Observer's Guide V2.0 is a DOS program which shows the location of each Messier object in its constellation. An drawing of what one could expect to see is included. (Program by Larry F. Kalinowski)
    Download Version V2.0 (360 kB)
    Original site

  19. SkyChart 2000.0:
  20. Planetrium software with Meade LX-200 and Tangent Intruments-compatible-encoder telescopes support. See here for a brief intro. Currently Version 2.6 Beta 4 is availabale both for Windows and Macintosh. Version 2.6.1 is Windows only. Freeware.
    Download Version
    For Windows (910 kB)
    For Macintosh (1 MB)
    Download Version 2.6.1 (3.37 MB)
    Planetary Satellites (0.5 arc precision) (527 kB)
    Original site

  21. SkyGlobe:
  22. SkyGlobe is an educational astronomy program for MS operating systems. A short description are available for MS-DOS 3.x and MS Windows. Please note that this is copyrighted material (shareware).
    Download Version V3.6
    For MS-DOS 3.x (363 kB)
    For Windows (1.34 MB)

    Original site KlassM Software Inc. no longer available ?

  23. SkyMap:
  24. SkyMap is a planetarium program for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. For more details about this program please read the vendor text. Version 10 needs at least Windows98.
    Download Version
    Version 3.2 (1.76 MB)
    Version 8 (9.7 MB)
    Version 10 (8.5 MB) (15 days demo version)
    Original site
    For Skymap 7 you may also need: 40comupd.exe for installation (511 kB)

  25. SkyPlot V2.0/2.1:
  26. A planetariums software for DOS. More info can be found in the user documentation.
    Download Version (157 kB)
    Original site

  27. Starry Night V2.0:
  28. The planetariums software for Macintosh computers ! Demo Version and User Manual is available. Note that these versions are pretty old. If you want the latest demo you have to register with the vendor.
    Download Version
    Starry Night Demo Version (3.28 kB)
    User Manual (682 kB)
    Original site

Optical Design

KDP is a Windows program for optical design. You should read the installation hints before downloading the following packages:

Professional software (very very old !)

  1. Aurora, BBEdit, Browser, Find, FTB:

  2. 'Aurora' is an editor for DOS and Windows, ideal for viewing large catalogs (1GB files will fit in this editor. Aurora is Shareware.
    'BBedit' is a freeware text editor for Macintosh.
    'Browser' is a shareware FITS and normal editor for Macintosh.
    'Find' is a Quick-basic program (for DOS) for selceting and extracting records from the ADC catalogs. This program is free.
    'FTB' is a free Fits Table Browser for MS-DOS, Unix and VMS.
    All these packages can be found on the ADC CD and can be fetched
  3. makeCDF and makeSFDU:

  4. 'makeCDF' is a tool for reading in flat data sets, in both binary and textual form, and generating a CDF dataset from that data.
    makeSFDU is a portable tool that can generate a minimal detached Standard Formatted Data Unit (SFDU) from a CDF file. More info can be find here.
    makeSFDU10-dist.bck (115 kB)

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C. Kronberg --- 01.05.2009 ---