Starchart is a software that produces maps of the stars.
Introduction and philosophy
There is a sky. There are things in the sky. This program draws maps of things in the sky.
The things in the sky include stars, planets, nebulae, clusters of stars, and galaxies. For thousands of years, people have grouped the stars in the sky into patterns, and constellations. More recently, the sky has been divided into areas based on these constellations.
For hundreds of years, astronomers have used a latitude-longitude grid for defining the locations of celestial objects. The longitude is usually referred to as right ascension or RA, the latitude is the declination or DEC. Through the year, the sun follows a path in the sky, called the Ecliptic, which is the plane of the earth's orbit. Other planets in the solar system are roughly in this plane. This program displays all these elements on various display and printer devices.
The locations of stars, nebulae, clusters, and galaxies have been tabulated for hundreds of years. This program uses computerized forms of such databases.
Here are some key features of "Starchart":
· Allow for the creation of star charts of medium quality, comparable to published works in data content.
· Allow for the creation of custom star charts for use as maps for specific objects, including the labeling of stars with their magnitudes. Inverted maps may also be produced.
· Allow for the creation of figures of the sky overhead at any location and time, as in the Sky and Telescope centerfold, or planispheres.
· Optionally include in the above: planets (including the sun, moon, asteroids, comets), fixed stars, nebulae, clusters, etc., lines for constellation shapes, constellation boundaries, paths of planets, the ecliptic, galactic equator, milky way isophots, etc.
· Use color for objects, and stars by spectral type, when available for the given device.
· Label stars with their name, number or letter, and/or magnitude.
· Label other objects by name.
· Allow custom star databases to be used to produce maps of the sky in, for example, 10,000 B.C.
What's New in This Release:
· Added autoconf & automake.