My first space-related computer program: The Astroicek
The purpose of this post
By the years of programming, I have written many different programs. Some of my programs were simple and stupid, but some of them were useful. When I was younger I did not respect my programs, I did not bother to save them for the future. When I was young I thought that I have so many spare time, that time is not a problem – time was very cheap. I did not respect days, weeks and months spent on programming my own personal projects. If the results of my work did not satisfy me then I forgot about their source codes and had lost them. At the time I didn’t know any version control system so I had only one recent version of my codes. I lost thousand of thousand lines of code written by me (really!!) because I did not respect them, I did not respect my work. Now I want to save some of my past work, I decided to public one of my program from the year 2002, its name is ASTROICEK.
Why did I write The Astroicek?
I have interested in astronomy and I conduced observations with my 114mm Newtonian reflector. At this time I didn’t know astronomical software which could help me during the observations (the first release of Stellarium was in 2001). I used maps of sky from the polish magazine “Wiedza i Życie”, which included the map of sky over Poland for the month of publications. Shortly the maps from the magazine become not sufficient, because I wanted to look at objects which were not presented there. I was especially interested in comets, dynamic objects which change fast their positions on the sky. I needed very recent sky maps with positions of non-popular or very recent discovered objects.
How to get the program?
You can download the installation file for Windows systems with the link presented below:
Features of the program.
- Draw maps of the sky
- for a given geographical position
- for a given time
- for a given stars brightness range
- with marked ecliptic
- with a grid of right ascensions and declinations
- with solar system objects ( The Sun and the planets)
- with The Moon and its phase
- with objects from the Messier catalogue
- with marked star constellations
- with custom objects introduced by the user
- List of rising and set times of The Solar System objects for a given day
- Print and print preview
- Simulation of the sky move
The most annoying thing of The Astroicek is a fact that I use polish language for almost any label in its windows. Unfortunately, I lost the source code so I have not translated the texts to English. To draw the map of the sky You need to first set information about the observer position, time, visible objects and other settings, then push the button “Rysuj” to draw the map according to the settings. Beneath I put a simple graphical instruction with the English description.