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

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

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

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