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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').



Verified by

Verified on


Verified by

Janet Casey

Verified on

27 August 2002

Leaders and contributors

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

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
Bug TrackingVCS Repository Webview

Software prerequisites

Weak prerequisitegtkglarea (both for OpenGL support)
Weak prerequisiteOpenGL *or* MesaGL
Weak prerequisitegnuplot
Weak prerequisiteGnome
Required to useGTK+ 1.0.4 or later


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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