Hello and welcome in the neighbourhood of the Alpha Centaurii
system known as under the name of Rigel Kentaurus. I hope that you
spent a pleasant travel about 4,3 light years at the speed of light. In
some billion kilometres on your left is Proxima Centaurii, the nearest
star of our planetary system. So, I'm going to present you
AlphaCentaure, a software intended for the observation of the sky for
amateur astronomers (hmmm...although this software has only a utility
for the Sol system)..
AlphaCentaure is a planetarium software which can be used in
complement with the other astronomy softwares. It is always in beta
version and I had too many problems to run it under Windows 2000 and
XP. I have not tested it under Windows 95 / 98 / NT yet, but I think
that there will be too many problems to launch (finally I hope).
Here is the required configuration:
- Windows 95/98/NT4/2000/XP (the future is not
Microsoft®©TM it's Open
- At least 64 Mo of RAM
- At least 120 Mb of hard disk (if you decide to install it
with all star catalogs and extragalactic objects)
- A screen resolution of 800x600 at least and more 256 colors
(to have color gradations and the display of the earth map)
- And as processor, at least a Pentium (or other from Cyrix,
or AMD), let's say that this software is rather greedy in calculation...
What can do Alphacentaure ? Bah...full of things:
- A view of the celestial sphere on which is printed stars,
extragalactic objects, constellations, planets, comets and astroids
- One graph displaying various elongations of the visible
planets to the naked eye during one year, what allows to know for
example at which moment Mercury is visible in the morning or in the
evening, or still is i in conjunction with the other planets
- A view of planets with regard to the Sun if the observer
was placed outside of the solar system
- A view representing the parts day and night of the planet
- For other options, please consult the online documentation
(in the course of editorial staff) and glance at screen shots.
What can't do AlphaCentaure ? Bah...full of things too:
- Print out of maps
- Drive motorized telescopes
Precision of the calculations
The position in right ascension and declination of these various
celestial bodies is rather precise but not so precise as the data
published by Connaissance des Temps or by Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes.
AlphaCentaure is useful for the study of the constellations, the
moments to raise and set of celestial bodies, the trajectory of
planets, etc.... The more one takes away in the time (before or after
J2000), and the more the calculations become less and less precise.
Anyway, the software is limited by 9999 BC to 9999 AC (even if that
does not want to say big thing ;).
AlphaCentaure uses several catalogs resulting from main sites. These
catalogs, in raw text format, are then compiled to have a more compact
binary format and which contain only essential information (for
example, for stars, will be reserved: the name, the serial number,
proper motion in right ascension and declination, radial speed,
magnitude, spectre, type of the star and the coordinates in right
ascension and declination for J2000). The various used catalogs are:
For extragalactic objects:
- Master Star Catalogue, version 2
- Guide Star Catalogue, version 1.1 (sur 2 CDROM) (not
- Tycho-2 (not available online)
- Washington Double Star Catalogue
- General Catalogue of Variable Stars
- Abell (Rich clusters of galaxies)
- Catalogue of galaxies behind the Milky Way
- Catalogue of HII Regions
- Catalogue of principal Galaxies
- Fourth Cambridge Survey of Radio Sources
- Globular Clusters in the Milky Way
- Index Catalogue
- Lynd's catalogue of Bright Nebulae
- Lynd's catalogue of Dark Nebulae
- Markarian galaxies
- Morphological Catalogue of Galaxies
- New General Catalogue
- Saguaro Astronomy Club Database
- Strasbourg-ESO Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae
- Third Reference Catalogue
- Uppsala General Catalogue of galaxies
Term of service
AlphaCentaure is a freeware, i.e. you can download it, make multiple
copies, distribute it freely to your friends. Any marketing of this
software is strictly prohibited. ;)
As this software is a freeware, I do not guarantee the malfunction on
such or such machine, and in more I am not responsible for what you go
to do with it.
Astrometric data of Alpha Centaurii
|Right ascension (J2000)
||14h 39mn 36.2s
||-60° 50' 07"
|Raidal proper motion
^ On top of page ^
buy a law in the EU
AlphaCentaure's people awoke suddenly to say a Merry Christmas and a very good year 2005 for Earth's people. These people also wishes one very bad year 2005 for RIAA, MPAA, IFPO and other associations who sows the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt to defend their Copyright, Patent, and Intellectual Property.
Tycho-2 catalogue containing 2.5 million stars is online (large
Current version: 1.251 including romanian language.
Update asteroid and comet databases...
AlphaCentaure 1.250 is out...
Update asteroids database, 190538 (source).
Update comets database (source).
New year, new interface
02/12/2001 : Version 1.24beta
- New user interface for the navigation bar
- Displaying in transparent green of the main
information such as seasons, eclipses, visibility of the red spot of
- New management of the internationalization
- Phase of planets in OpenGL
- Hertzsprung-Russell's diagram for the main stars
- Database for the extra-solar planets
- Bug elimination (one thank to the users who
indicated them to me)
29/08/2000 : Current version 1.23
(Free host and without advertisement of AlphaCentaure)
| Do not fall
into the lobbies from the patent in any kind and to all goes as to the
United States. For Europe without software patent, sign the petition
Those which are ready to sacrifice their freedom for more safety are worthy neither one, nor other
Main pollutant nations and not for Kyoto protocol