Celestial Maps - Version History

Celestial Maps has been developed since 1992 by three Romanian professional astronomers and programmers now living in Canada, France and Romania.

Reaching about 40,000 lines of code at present version (10.0), the software has been written in Turbo Pascal 6 & 7 (v. 1-5 for MSDOS, 1992-1996) and Delphi 4 (v. 7-10 for Windows, 1999-2005). The following represents a brief version history including the new functions added during the years.

Version 1.0 (1992)

Celestial Maps v.1 was released by Ovidiu Vaduvescu and Mirel Birlan of The Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. It has been started in Turbo Pascal 6.0 (DOS) with the aim to learn the Pascal language and as a tool to help with the data reduction in the Observatory.

Brief description: three types of projection, FK5 catalogue (1500 stars), planets, constellations, Sun, Moon, three printers supported, menu, stars spectral type, info file/help. It included two language versions (Romanian and English) and a demo version. Total size: 418 Kb.

Version 3.1 (1993)

Celestial Maps 3.1 has been written in Turbo Pascal 6.0 (DOS) by the same authors.

New functions: changed database as typed files, added two types of equatorial projection, precession & nutation, deep sky objects, planetary animation, search objects (stellar, nonstellar or constellation), creating own database. Total size: 439 Kb.

Version 4.5 (1994)

Celestial Maps 4.5 was written in Turbo Pascal 6.0 (DOS) by the same authors. It was written in Turbo Pascal 7.0 and introduced SAO and PPM large databases and a small database including SAO stars selected up to mag 6.

New functions: catalogue star numbers (SAO, PPM, BD, HD), output files including field query stars, flexibility to install partial large database. Total size: 721 Kb (with small db 5103 stars), 40 MB (large db - 18 MB SAO - 258,996 stars, 22 MB PPM - 319,494 stars).

Version 5.0 (1996)

Celestial Maps 5.0 was written in Turbo Pascal 7.0 by Ovidiu Vaduvescu of The Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest and included with his PhD Thesis with Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (1997).

New functions: star symbols (points or circles with flexible mag limits), inkjet printer, saving maps options, searching PPM or SAO stars by number, added Messier catalogue, 12 colours for spectral type, output file warnings. Total size: 822 Kb (small db), 40 MB (large db - 18 MB SAO, 22 MB PPM).

Download Celestial Maps 5.0 (small db 322 KB archived auto-extract).

Version 7.0 (Spring 2000)

The first Windows version of Celestial Maps was released in Spring 2000 by Ovidiu Vaduvescu, Software Developer with Financial Models in Mississauga, Canada. It has been written in Delphi 4 for Windows 32 bits.

New functions: port MSDOS version 5 to Windows, plot maps on virtual screen (1-3x), add Windows printing capabilities, embedded help, saving and loading maps. Total size: 1.2 MB (small db), 40 MB (large db - 18 MB SAO, 22 MB PPM).

Download Celestial Maps 7.0 (small db 582 KB archived auto-extract).

Version 8.0 (Fall 2000)

Celestial Maps 8.0 was deployed in Fall 2000 by Ovidiu Vaduvescu in Canada. It includes more than 22 millions of stars and deep sky objects extracted in total from 10 astronomical catalogues. It has been continued in Delphi 4 (under Windows 32 bits).

New functions: extended database, extended search by catalogue number, basic astrometry, zoom, center, object info, embedded locations editor, saving images, extended grid, object names/numbers, etc.

Version 8.0 - Databases & Sizes:
  • SAO small database up to 7.5m (about 25,000 stars, 0.5 MB);
  • Messier catalogue of 110 deep sky objects, 8 Kb);
  • SAO catalogue (about 260,000 stars up to mag 10, 15 MB);
  • PPM catalogues (4 catalogues, about 500,000 stars up to about mag 11, 28 MB);
  • Tycho-2 catalogues (2 catalogues, about 2,500,000 stars up to about mag 12.5, 136 MB);
  • GSC 1.1 catalogues (about 18,000,000 stars and deep sky objects up to about mag 15.5, 359 MB);
  • NGC 2000 catalogue (NGC and IC catalogues of about 13,000 objects up to about mag 17, 1 MB);
    Total size: 540 MB (on a CD-ROM)

    Download Celestial Maps 8.0 (small db - 931KB archived auto-extract);
    Also the following databases (to be used only with v.8.0) can be downloaded:
    > SAO large db (19 archived files auto-extract, about 7MB in total);
    > NGC 2000 (about 400KB archived);

    Version 8.5 (2001)

    Planned as a preliminary new version, Celestial Maps 8.5 was developed by Ovidiu Vaduvescu of York University in Toronto, Canada, and Lucian Curelaru, Software Developer with Deuromedia S.R.L. in Brasov, Romania.

    Most of its new functions were designed to produce the printed Map of the Northern Sky published by SARM - Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (Vaduvescu, Curelaru & Grigore, 2001).

    New functions: flexible fonts and colours, new constellations figures, IAU boundaries (precessed to epoch 2000), Milky Way boundaries, common star names ("FK5-SAO-HD Common Name Cross Index" catalogue, Bayer & Flamsteed numbers ("Catalogue of Brightest Stars"), Data Access (disk/memory), select large db directory, enlarged virtual screen (6x), deep sky symbols, etc. Total size: 540 MB (on a CD-ROM).

    Version 9.0 (2002)

    Celestial Maps 9.0 was developed under Delphi 4 by the same authors as version 8.5. It includes about 22 million objects from 15 professional catalogues, including stars up to magnitude 15, deep sky objects up to magnitude 17, and asteroids and comets as faint as the absolute maximum magnitude 20.

    New functions: asteroid database (ASTORB catalogue maintained online by Dr. Bowell of Lowell Observatory - 175,565 orbits as of March 2002), comets database (COMET catalogue maintained online by Minor Planet Center - 311 orbits of comets as of Dec 2001), extended nonstellars, planets, Sun & Moon (all with sizes), asteroids, comets, nonstellars and animation to all projections, search asteroids & comets, embedded editor custom database, etc. Total size: 560 MB (on a CD-ROM).

    Version 10 (2005)

    Two major improvements have been added in the Equatorial Projection with this version:

    The first is a new database category, Online Database, querying via VizieR service the largest catalogs available today: 2MASS point sources (a modern catalog of about 500 million stars observed in the near-infrared), GSC 2.2 (including about 500 million sources, to be completed soon to about 1 billion), USNO-A2 (500 million stars), and USNO-B1 (about 1 billion sources). Also the DSS (Digitized Sky Survey) atlas images, both first and second generation, can be overlayed on the charts.

    The second improvement is a Numeric Integrator module based on OrbFit code (Milani et al, 2003) which provides accurate sub-arcsec ephemerides for the minor planets, necessary for very small fields, also for more distant epochs.

    Other new functions: Run Atlas (for automate execution of an atlas in Equatorial and Zenithal Projections), Back/Forward maps to facilitate navigation (similar to an internet browser), Up/Down/Left/Right neighbours of a given field, Load Last map (from the previous session).

    A few minor bugs were fixed and some parameter constraints opened, for more flexibility.

  • | Back to Celestial Maps 10 |

    Ovidiu Vaduvescu
    Astronomer, La Palma, Canary
    | ovidiuv@yahoo.com |