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A Star Catalog visualization and data record retrieval tool.


What is Starcat?

Starcat is a viewer for the Bright Star, Hipparcos and Tycho star catalogs for use under Windows or Linux. The default catalog is the Bright Star Catalog with over 9000 stars. The Hipparcos catalog contains over 100,000 stars (above) and the Tycho catalog over 1,000,000 stars. StarCats is a visualization tool for these catalogs which also gives direct access to the catalog record data for any star by pointing and clicking.

Screen Shot 1, Big Dipper, Info Box
Screen Shot 2, Sky, Bright Star Catalog
Screen Shot 3, Orion, Hipparcos Catalog
Screen Shot 4, Orion,Tycho Catalog
Screen Shot 5, Center of the Milkyway,Tycho Catalog
Screen Shot 6, Planets

In addition StarCat shows the positions of the moon, sun and planets for any given time and location on earth, so can be used to identify any object visible in the sky. Find out where the sun really was on the day you were born, or check out the solor eclipse coming up on December 25 (visible in Canada and North US). You can also print out custom sky charts.

Starcat is currently available for use at version 0.96. See readme file for installation notes, and known problems. Watch here for updates.

Where to Get StarCat?

Click Here to download the starcat win32 executable (starcat096_win.zip). Starcat is open source software under a gnu General Public License. The Starcat win32 executable package includes the Bright Star condensed Catalog data file. Create a StarCats directory and unzip the executable and data files to it. Readme file contains operation notes and instructions for getting and installing the other catalogs.

Click Here (or right click and save as) to download the source code (starcat096.tar.gz) including data files. The source code includes VC project files (.dsw) and a makefile to build for use under Linux. Starcat uses V , a free, multiple platform C++ graphical user interface framework for cross platform compatability.

Astro Catalog Links:

The Hipparcos and Tycho catalogs (as well as many others) are available by FTP at NASA's Astronomical Data Center:


The Bright Star Catalog is also available at:


The GCVS and NVS catalogs are at:


Astro Software Links:

Celestia is a 3D planetarium. Very cool!

Star Charts
Star Charts is a Free program to draw sky charts for use with Windows 95/98/NT/2000. A very nice piece of work with many additonal catalog options. By Patrick Chevalley.

Palm Planetarium
Palm Planetarium calculates the position of the Sun, the Moon, all the planets and 1600 of the brightest stars in the sky for any time and a any geographical position. Star gazers can use it to find or identify the planets in a clear nighttime sky. It can also be used as a compass when the Sun or Moon is visible. If you're looking for portable astro software for your palm, this is the one!

Astronomy Programs
Links to many astronomy software sites. Also has an astronomy software review database. Add your own comments.

StarCat Version History:

Vers .96
(April 2001) Added time zones and time setting dialog box. Added cursor position display.

Current Known Problems:
- Time lapse mode seems to become drag-ass slow after running some time. Why? I don't know.
- Bad shutdown when in time lapse and app is shutdown with window frame check box.
- Print setup dialog appears only on first print, afterwords is skiped over...

C Programing Resources:

V, a free, multiple platform C++ graphical user interface framework
CygWin, a gnu C++ compiler for Windows

April 20, 2000

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