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astronomy (37)

Astro Catalog
The Astro::Catalog module is an generic, object-oriented astronomical catalogue. It provides access to the online USNO-A2 and Guide Star Catalogues provided by ESO/ST-ECF, and additionally provides read/write access to ARK CLUSTER format files.

Astroconst makes header files in C, Fortran, Perl, IDL, Java, and GNUplot defining many astrophysical constants useful for scientific programming. A single modifiable data file automatically generates these header files, so you can add new constants to the data file and generate new header files in all appropriate languages without fiddling with each header file individually.

Astronomical Papers Library
A C library containing theories of motion of solar system objects that have been published in various astronomical journals such as Astronomy & Astrophysics, the Astronomical Journal, and Astronimcal Papers prepared for the use of the American Ephemeris. Currently this includes such theories as Newcomb's "Tables of the Sun" and all the planets as well as the theory known as "The Improved Lunar Ephemeris".

Avaneya: Viking Lander Remastered DVD
Whether you are a fan of science fiction, a space–science enthusiast, hobbyist, photographer, gamer or a patron of grass–roots libre arts and technology, you are sure to find the first successful images from the surface of Mars highly captivating. These mind blowing images were taken by NASA's Viking landers during the highly ambitious, billion–dollar mission first launched in 1975. However, many images were nearly lost to history due to magnetic tape deterioration and archaic proprietary technology.

With NASA's blessing, our team developed the technology to recover many of these images. This research tool was part of the design phase of our parent project, Avaneya — our upcoming libre cerebral science fiction game for the GNU operating system set on Mars, described in the words of Richard Stallman as an exciting, pioneering project.

Originally an internal research tool, overwhelming public interest compelled us to release the technology on this DVD for all. Now everyone can relive the original breathtaking experience that captured the world's attention and marked the first successful moment in history that humanity saw Mars — not as a distant, impersonal, celestial body, beheld through a telescope for centuries, but as a tangible and alien world well within its reach.

'avsomat' is a framework for automating the scheduling of variable star observations, identification and photometry of variable stars on CCD images, and the reporting, management, and verification of results. It uses electronic charts of the star fields in which variable stars appear, and maintains a view of the current results in the form of a collection of interlinked Web pages.

BOTEC is a simple astrophysical and orbital mechanics calculator, including a database of all named Solar System objects. BOTEC is intended as a simple but useful calculator to assist with making astrophysical, orbital mechanics, and space navigation calculations. As the origin of the acronym applies, BOTEC is more of a "back-of-the-envelope calculator" rather than an industrial-strength calculator, although this may change in the future.

Celestia is a real-time visual simulation of space. Choose a point within the Local Group of galaxies, and Celestia will show you an approximation of how it would appear to your eyes were you actually there. Some of what Celestia shows is necessarily hypothetical--the farther away from Earth you get, the less real data there is and the more guesswork is involved. Thus Celestia supplements observational data with good guesses based on models of stellar and planetary processes. You can also navigate at an immense range of scales. Orbit a couple kilometers above the surface of a tiny, irregular asteroid, then head off toward Jupiter, watching it grow from a bright point of light into a looming sphere filling your field of vision. Leave our solar system entirely and observe the sun as it fades from a brilliant disk to a bright star, disappearing almost entirely as you head off toward the Upsilon Andromeda system to orbit around its innermost giant planet.

'EPICS' is a software infrastructure for building distributed control systems to operate devices such as particle accelerators, large experiments and major telescopes. These systems comprise tens or hundreds of computers, networked together so they can communicate and provide control and feedback of the various parts from a control room, or remotely over the Internet. EPICS uses Client/Server and Publish/Subscribe techniques to communicate between the various computers. Most servers (called Input/Output Controllers or IOCs) perform real-world I/O and local control tasks, and publish this information to clients using the Channel Access (CA) network protocol. CA is specially designed for the kind of high bandwidth, soft real-time networking applications that EPICS is used for, and is one reason why it can be used to build a control system comprising hundreds of computers.

'Ephemeris' reads, writes, and interpolates the JPL planetary ephemeris data that is the world standard planetary dataset. It should compile on any machine that uses gcc and supports IEEE floating point arithmetic, and has been tested under GNU/Linux. It uses an included library, gnulliver.c, that automatically handles integer and floating point Big-endian/Little-endian byte swapping to match Big-endian/network order on any computer. gnulliver.c can be used separately under the LGPL 2.1. This is a redesign of JPL's original FORTRAN code, available on JPL's FTP website (, with some added flexibility (including patching some inconsistencies in the original JPL data files). 'Ephemeris' is not associated with JPL or NASA, but just uses JPL's data.

The Gnu Data Language (GDL) is a free alternative to the data visualization and analysis tool, called IDL (Interactive Data Language), frequently used by scientists.

GDL and its library routines are designed as a tool for numerical data analysis and visualisation. GDL is dynamically typed, vectorized and has object-oriented programming capabilities. The library routines handle numerical calculations, data visualisation, signal/image processing, file input/output (incl. graphical and scientific data formats such as TIFF, PNG, netCDF, HDF etc) and interaction with host OS.

Despite its name, GDL is not a GNU package.

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