Nightfall 1.52 review

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Nightfall is an astronomy application for fun, education, and science

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 810K
Developer: rainer
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Nightfall is an astronomy application for fun, education, and science. It can produce animated views of eclipsing binary stars, calculate synthetic lightcurves and radial velocity curves, and eventually determine the best-fit model for a given set of observational data of an eclipsing binary star system. Nightfall is, however, not able to fry your breakfast egg on your harddisk.

Nightfall comes with a user guide, and a set of observational data for several eclipsing binary star systems.

Nightfall is a mildly ultramundane code of baroque complexity (I like Verdi and Haendel on lazy sunday mornings - friday evenings are better with Iron Maiden and a good whisky).

Nightfall is based on a physical model that takes into account the nonspherical shape of stars in close binary systems, as well as mutual irradiance of both stars, and a number of additional physical effects.

Nightfall can handle a large range of configurations, including overcontact (common envelope) systems, eccentric (non-circular) orbits, surface spots and asynchroneous rotation (stars rotating slower or faster than the orbital period), and the possible existence of a third star in the system ('third light').

Nightfall is distributed under the terms of the GNU Public License and comes without any warranty.


gunzip -c nightfall-1.42.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
cd nightfall-1.42/
./ is an interactive shell script to guide you through the installation. If you prefer to do it by hand, use the following sequence of commands:

gunzip -c nightfall-1.42.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
cd nightfall-1.42/
make install

What's New in This Release:
Model atmospheres are available for a range of surface gravities now (log g = 3.5..5.0), and for temperatures as low as 2000K.
Limb darkening and gravity darkening coefficients have been updated.
A minor glitch in the OpenGL visualisation of flux distribution has been fixed.

Nightfall 1.52 keywords