BASIC Programs from Sky & Telescope

Sky & Telescope magazine is pleased to make available in machine-readable form the programs that have been published in its monthly Astronomical Computing department, which first appeared in April 1984, and later in the Computers in Astronomy department. These are offered as-is and without support.

The table on the following three pages lists the programs in reverse chronological order. Each name is a hyperlink; if you select the name and your Web browser supports simple ASCII file transfers, you'll automatically download the BASIC program.

Whenever possible the programs are written in simple generic BASIC, but there are unavoidable variations from one interpreter to another. In case of difficulties, check your BASIC manual. A few programs require specific graphics adapters or printers. To run these programs, you will need a BASIC interpreter for your computer. If you do not know if your computer has one, see Stuart Goldman's article, "BASICally Speaking," adapted from the April 1996 issue of S&T.

At the end of each program is a block indicating the issue of the magazine in which the program appeared together with supporting text and instructions. If you have any questions, please consult the original articles.

BASIC Programs from Sky & Telescope
Magazine
File NameIssueBrief Description
ROCKET.BASFeb 02,
p. 66
Travel time for a space trip at relativistic speed
DAYSOLD.BASNov 01,
p. 63
Determine date after input number of days after
birthday
LOOKBAK2.BASAug 01,
p. 62
Cosmological quantities of an accelerating universe
PILLAR.BASMay 99,
p. 71
Simulate the appearance of a Sun pillar
MSACHART.BASOct 98,
p. 63
Millennium Star Atlas chart number
SUPERNUM.BASSep 98,
p. 70
Emergence angles of supernumerary rainbows
VISLIMIT.BASMay 98,
p. 57
Visual limiting magnitude from any site
CCDLIMI2.BASMay 98,
p. 117
Limiting magnitude of a CCD camera
LOOKBACK.BASSep 97,
p. 59
Age and distance of a galaxy of known redshift
SOLAROSC.BASJun 97,
p. 92
Visualize global solar oscillation modes
SUNDOG.BASJan 97,
p. 103
Simulate the appearance of sundogs
CRATER.BASNov 96,
p. 90
Find the dimensions of an impact crater
BLKHOLE1.BASMay 96,
p. 92
Determine the mass of a black hole
BLKHOLE2.BASMay 96,
p. 92
Calculate black-hole tidal forces
BLKHOLE3.BASMay 96,
p. 92
Generate a black-hole "accelergram"
FACECIRC.BASMar 96,
p. 84
Print setting-circle disks on a LaserJet
SCALES.BASMar 96,
p. 84
Print setting-circle strips on a LaserJet
AGEUNIV.BASJan 96,
p. 92
Age of the universe since the Big Bang
PULSAR.BASOct 95,
p. 86
Relativistic precession in binary orbits
CHANCE.BASJun 95,
p. 86
Odds of witnessing certain astronomical events
SATRINGS.BASMay 95,
p. 92
Saturn ring-plane crossings
JACK.BASSep 94,
p. 78
Demo of perturbed planetary motion
SUNUP.BASAug 94,
p. 84
Times of sunrise/set at any place on Earth
MOONFX.BASApr 94,
p. 86
Moon phase and distance on any given date
CAPTURE.BASFeb 94,
p. 85
Best film/camera combos for capturing meteors
SUNTAN.BASJul 93,
p. 83
Effects of ozone, haze, on suntanning time
ASTEROID.BASJun 93,
p. 83
The size of an asteroid from its brightness
CCDLIMIT.BASFeb 93,
p. 84
Compute the signal-to-noise ratio of a CCD
OCCVIS.BASJan 93,
p. 89
Compute the visibility of a star near the Moon
ROTATE.BASSep 92,
p. 318
Field rotation in a misaligned telescope
GFLASH.BASFeb 92,
p. 200
Simulate the appearance of the "green flash"
PRECESS.BASOct 91,
p. 408
Rigorous precession of a star's coordinates
LIST.BASAug 91,
p. 182
Make index lists of objects on star atlases
SOLARECL.BASJul 91,
p. 71
Predictions of July 11, 1991, solar eclipse
FIREBALL.BASJun 91,
p. 640
Calculate descent of a fireball

BASIC Programs from Sky & Telescope
Magazine
File NameIssueBrief Description
RONCHI.BASApr 91,
p. 416
Ronchi test simulation
RAINBOW.BASFeb 91,
p. 199
Graphic simulation of a rainbow
SPIRAL.BASDec 90,
p. 654
Modeling spiral galaxies
MARS.BASSep 90,
p. 296
Physical ephemeris of Mars
MARCHE.BASJul 90,
p. 71
Astrometric positions of a comet or asteroid
MALLAM.BASMay 90,
p. 543
Precession of a satellite's orbit
ORIGAM.BASApr 90,
p. 424
Make a paper model of a comet orbit
MIRROR.BASFeb 90,
p. 195
Foucault mirror test analysis
HARTLEY.BASJan 90,
p. 86
Globe- and grid-drawing program (Macintosh)
JMERID.BASDec 89,
p. 640
Jupiter's central meridian for any date/time
LIMMAG.BASNov 89,
p. 522
Limiting magnitude of a telescope
GOSS.BASOct 89,
p. 410
Light curves of eclipsing binaries
SHOWER.BASAug 89,
p. 195
Dates of meteor showers
SINE.BASAug 89,
p. 139
Demonstration of chaotic behavior
MOONUP.BASJul 89,
p. 78
Compute moonrise-moonset times for any place
GALISA.BASJun 89,
p. 650
Plot Galilean moons of Jupiter (Apple II)
SPACE.BASMay 89,
p. 531
Space motion of a star
CHART.BASApr 89,
p. 420
Find atlas charts for any celestial coordinates
REFR1.BASMar 89,
p. 311
Compute atmospheric refraction
TAKI.BASFeb 89,
p. 194
How to aim an alt-az (Dobsonian) telescope
FRACTS.BASJan 89,
p. 80
Represent a decimal as a continued fraction
PERIOD.BASSep 88,
p. 288
Period search by Fourier transform
LUNAR.BASJun 88,
p. 640
Compute dates of lunar eclipses
SHADOW.BASApr 88,
p. 417
Modeling mountain shadows
CIRCLE.BASMar 88,
p. 304
Make setting circles and scales on a printer
DIAL.BASDec 87,
p. 646
Design a vertical sundial
PERIAP.BASNov 87,
p. 527
Compute lunar apogee and perigee
STEREO.BASOct 87,
p. 407
Plot stars in stereographic projection
DIFPAT.BASSep 87,
p. 294
Compute and display diffraction patterns
BINARY.BASJul 87,
p. 71
Orbital ephemeris of a binary star
CLOCK.BASMay 87,
p. 535
Add Moon to a real-time clock (Apple II)
ORBITS.BASMay 87,
p. 535
Positions in near-parabolic orbits
EXTINC.BASApr 87,
p. 426
Compute extinction of starlight
PATH.BASFeb 87,
p. 196
Interpolate comet positions

BASIC Programs from Sky & Telescope
Magazine
File NameIssueBrief Description
METEOR.BASJan 87,
p. 83
Compute flight of meteors
OBSCUR.BASNov 86,
p. 515
Obscuration at a solar eclipse
SURF.BASOct 86,
p. 392
Surface brightness of an extended object
SPHE.BASSep 86,
p. 278
Measure radius of curvature with a spherometer
REACT.BASAug 86,
p. 174
Test your personal reaction time
ALTAZ2.BASJul 86,
p. 70
How to correct altitudes for refraction
MODEL.BASApr 86,
p. 398
Create model of star cluster
EASTER.BASMar 86,
p. 294
Compute date of Easter
TRACK.BASFeb 86,
p. 190
Astrophoto tracking tolerances
COMET.BASDec 85,
p. 590
Compute the ephemeris of a comet
XYZ.BASNov 85,
p. 470
X,Y,Z coordinates of the Sun
SAROS.BASOct 85,
p. 366
Saros numbers for solar eclipses
HELIAC.BASSep 85,
p. 261
Heliacal rise and set times
KEPLER.BASAug 85,
p. 158
Solve Kepler's equation (celestial mechanics)
CALENDAR.BASJul 85,
p. 62
Perpetual calendar (Gregorian)
SHUTTR.BASJun 85,
p. 158
Shutter speeds for astrophotography
WAVEL.BASJun 85,
p. 544
Positions of absorption lines in a spectrum
STEPPR.BASApr 85,
p. 350
Controlling a stepper motor
MOONS.BASMar 85,
p. 254
Dates and times of new and full Moon
PHOTOM.BASFeb 85,
p. 158
Reducing photometric observations
LHEIGHT.BASJan 85,
p. 62
Compute heights of lunar features
GLOB1.BASDec 84,
p. 555
Distribution of globular clusters (Apple II)
GLOB2.BASDec 84,
p. 555
Distribution of globular clusters (Apple II)
LENS.BASNov 84,
p. 450
Calculate curves for an aplanatic lens
GWMONTH.BASOct 84,
p. 347
Convert month number to name
SUNSHINE.BASSep 84,
p. 254
Hours of sunshine for a specific latitude
ANGSEP.BASAug 84,
p. 159
Angular separation of two celestial objects
STAY.BASJul 84,
p. 62
Comet's time spent inside Earth's orbit
ALTAZ.BASJun 84,
p. 558
Star altitude and azimuth at a given time
GMST.BASJun 84,
p. 558
Sidereal time for Greenwich meridian
CALJD.BASMay 84,
p. 454
Convert calendar date to Julian day
JDCAL.BASMay 84,
p. 454
Convert Julian day to calendar date
ADDMAG.BASApr 84,
p. 359
Combined magnitude of two or more stars
INTERP.BASApr 84,
p. 359
Lagrange interpolation (multiple data points)

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