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Simulate eclipsing binary stars

'Nightfall' simulates eclipsing binary stars and produces animated views, synthetic lightcurves, radial velocity curves, and eventually determine the best-fit model for a given set of observational data of an eclipsing binary star system. It takes into account the non-spherical shape of close binary stars, mutual reflection, and some other effects. It comes with documentation, on-line help, and observational data of real binary stars. The program supports but does not require the Gnome desktop. 'Nightfall' can handle the following configurations: overcontact (common envelope) systems, eccentric (non-circular) orbits, surface spots and asynchroneous rotation (stars rotating slower or faster than the orbital period), and the possible existence of a third star in the system ('third light').


Download version 1.42 (stable)
released on 30 June 2004


Related Projects


LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
GPLv2orlaterJanet Casey27 August 2002

Leaders and contributors

Rainer Wichmann Maintainer
See the AUTHORS file in the distribution for a complete list Contributor

Resources and communication

Audience Resource type URI
Bug Tracking VCS Repository Webview
Developer,Help,Support E-mail
Bug Tracking E-mail

Software prerequisites

Kind Description
Required to use GTK+ 1.0.4 or later
Weak prerequisite OpenGL *or* MesaGL
Weak prerequisite gtkglarea (both for OpenGL support)
Weak prerequisite Gnome
Weak prerequisite gnuplot

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 22 January 2008.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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