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    Re: sky display program.
    From: Nicol�s de Hilster
    Date: 2006 Dec 12, 22:07 +0100

    Hi George,
    lately I found Stellarium (http://www.stellarium.org/) and discussed its 
    accuracy on this list [NavList 1793-1802]. As Frank Reed found out 
    [NavList 1802] it does not yet incorporate proper motion yet. It is 
    however a very charming planetarium, with loads of options, like non 
    western zodiac signs, twilight simulation, ground simulation, azimuthal 
    and equatorial grids etc. Later on I found out that is is possible to 
    zoom in on whatever part of the heavens you like using your scrolling 
    wheel. When you zoom in on the planets it will show the planet's image 
    and the moons around it. It also shows several nebula's.
    Going back to 1700 is possible although it requires 306 mouse clicks, 
    one for every year :-(
    George Huxtable wrote:
    >I'm enquiring about a suitable sky display program, to help with a 
    >little research project into navigation history.
    >For that job, I need to display a picture of a small part of the 
    >visible sky, plotted in altitude and azimuth, expandable up to (say) a 
    >couple of degrees across the screen, with sky objects reasonably 
    >precisely positioned for dates around 1700 AD, with errors no more 
    >than 0.1 arc-minutes. I also need to know the coordinates of selected 
    >objects in terms of (geocentric) ecliptic longitude and latitude, to 
    >the same sort of precision, ideally with movable grid lines 
    >corresponding to those coordinates. I need that display to show (from 
    >a chosen geographic position) a precise view of the Moon, at its 
    >correct diameter, and with its shadow-terminator rigorously calculated 
    >according to the actual positions of Sun and Moon at that moment.
    >I have tried the program Skymap, which seems to fill the bill in every 
    >respect but one. Although it provides alt/az, and RA/dec, it doesn't 
    >display ecliptic lat/long. It provides a grid of ecliptic lat and 
    >long, but only at 1-degree intervals, which is not good enough.
    >I know that I can calculate ecliptic coordinates from RA/dec, knowing 
    >the obliquity of that date, but for this job it would be far more 
    >convenient to have them displayed on screen.
    >I wonder if any NavList member has access to a sky-astronomy program 
    >which they can recommend, as fitting those somewhat odd and demanding 
    >contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    >or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    >or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK. 
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