CELESTIAL MAPS is the fourth variant which produces accurate maps of the sky in five types of projections, by using two professional catalogues of the stars.

If you wish a general map of the northern or southern sky, then pick the first type. This branch feigns the movement of the planets and the Sun on the sky, if you introduce a start time and the positive or negative step. Also, it can trace the fundamental lines of the sky.

If you want a very precise chart of a random area, you must pick the second type. This  branch optionally makes use of a  simple data base (containing stars up to magnitude 6th, and producing charts without limit of  the field), or access a large data base (containing stars up to magnitude 12th and producing maps up to 20 degrees field). In the second case, you could select the name of  the stars in four catalogue denominations (PPM, SAO, HD, DM). This  second branch of the program is equipped with three types of projection which can be selected optionally. For a more precise chart of a random area, you can make an option which reduces the stars to a desired epoch (corrections for precession, aberration, nutation, proper motions). The user can search an object in the sky by selecting from three files ("sse.dat","nse.dat" or "cse.dat") a star (by name, PPM or SAO number), a non-stellar object (from the Messier catalogue), or a constellation, respectively. You can add other objects to these files. Also, you can modify the size of the field and the limiting magnitude and select a normal or overturned image. Three possibilities for displaying; the stars in the field are proposed  by the  program (one of these by setting an optional range of  magnitudes, in maximum  nine levels). Also, 12 colors of the stars are used to give information about the spectral type of the stars. This second branch produces files ("placa1.dat", "placa2.dat" etc) containing information's about the stars appearing in the field  (which could be used in the reduction of  the photographical plates.

If you want the general image of the sky at any time and place, this can be selected  from the third type of projection. In this case, CELESTIAL MAPS will draw for you the planets, according to the magnitude which is calculated depending on the planets' phases. Also, both Sun and Moon (with phases) are drawn. You can select the names of the planets if you wish.

This program can draw both  maps with or without the constellation lines and their names.

CELESTIAL MAPS uses two professional 2000-epoch catalogues of stars : "Catalogue of Positions and Proper  Motions" (PPM) and "Smithsonian  Astrophysical Observatory  Catalogue"  (SAO), selected  from  CD-ROM  (courtesy  by  NASA).  This selection increases the speed of execution and decreases the disk space. The choice of one of these is made in the second branch of the program  by selecting the option  "large data base". The files containing the stars ppms9.dat", ..., "ppmn9.dat", respectively "saos9.dat", ..., "saon9.dat" - type files) represent stripes of 10 degrees of declination. Thus, the  user can install  partial database, in conformity with the disk space and  the  field of  interest. The simple data base ("saostele.dat") is also a   type file. Also, there is another file  ("stars.dat" - a text file) which contains additional stars, that can be modified by the user. These files contain the coordinates, magnitude, the spectral type (which produces a color image of the sky and a size of the stars depending on their  magnitudes), the proper motions and  five denominations. There is another file containing the constellations ("const.dat"). The initialization of the variables used is made in the file  "maps.ini". To use other options, you could change the variables in the program and save these at the end.
This program is endowed with printer facilities of the sky maps. In order to print, it must pick up the type of  the printer (pin or inkjet) and after obtaining a  chart on the display, the connection of  the printer  must be verified and <Ctrl>+<Print Screen> must be pressed. It's also possible to print the maps by using other utilities.

The program is endowed with a color menu which is very user friendly.

CELESTIAL MAPS is written in TURBO PASCAL 7.0 and requires an IBM PC, XT, AT or compatible, 1 unit floppy disk min 1MB (simple data base) or hard disk space min 16MB (SAO large data base) and/or; 20MB (PPM large data base), (16 colors) graphics display CGA or EGA/VGA, printer.

Dr. Mirel BIRLAN formerly at the Astronomical Institute in Bucharest was the co-author of the former versions 1.0, 3.1 and 4.5 of this package. For more information or suggestion related to the program or requires regarding the purchase, please contact the author.

References, Patents:

* In April 1994 Celestial Maps 3.1 was pattented by "La Maison de l'Astronomie Devaux-Chevet S.A", Paris, France - Astro News no. 37, 1994;

* Since 1996 Celestial Maps 4.5 computer aided graphics the Astronomical Yearbook published with The Astronomical Institute and Romanian Academy Printing House in Bucharest, Romania;

* In March 1998 Celestial Maps v.5.0 was included into the ASDS - Astronomical Software Documentation Service published with NASA Astrophysics Data Program.

You can download the small database version (SAO stars up to V=6) of Celestial Maps 5.0. For inquires about the large database package, please contact the author.

| Download Celestial Maps v.5.0 (322KB) |
| My Astronomical Software List |

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