About the Constellation Java Applet
Latest version: 11/25/96
See also: How to use the Constellation
Take a look at some of the other Java programs I
This is a program that allows you to look at the constellations as
they appear on the sky. It allows you to scroll around and zoom in or
The "New" constellations were created by H.A. Rey (the author of
Curious George) about 40 or 50 years ago. The Standard constellations
came from XEphem version 2.8 (they were created by Chris Marriott and
translated by Elwood Downey).
I know it's really slow. My apologies for that. I will try to speed
it up soon.
I got the idea from StarGazer by
firstname.lastname@example.org. Try it. It's very good.
Download the Java Programs and Data Files
If you want to run this program more quickly, you can try downloading
the files and running them locally (i.e. use the "Open File" command
from your browser).
Source Code: Constellations.java (24k) (written in Java 1.0)
I apologize, but because of the 8.3 filename limit in DOS, these will
only work in the newer versions of Windows. Don't even try if you are
using DOS or Windows 3.1.
11/25/96 -- Changes since 10/18/96:
10/18/96 -- Changes since 9/27/96:
- Cleaned up the source code (a little) for public release
- Fixed a bug in the "More" and "Fewer" buttons
9/27/96 -- Changes since 9/18/96:
- Fixed problem with interrupted redrawing of sky. Now there are
no more errors with (1) incorrect colors and (2) misdrawn
9/18/96 -- Changes since 8/28/96:
- Allowed relative URLs for he data files instead of absolute
ones pointing to www.astro.wisc.edu. This will help
portability in the long run.
- Fixed bug in scrollbar jump
Possible Future Directions
(it's unlikely I will ever get around to doing these)
- Add planets (maybe)
- Add star names
- Add the option for other coordinate systems (Alt-Az, galactic)
- Add non-stellar objects
- Speed up the whole applet
- Allow fields of view greater than 120 degrees (i.e. use other
- Add a horizon, date, time and latitude (goes with Alt-Az mode)
- Add celestial "landmarks" like zenith or north pole and perhaps
- Off-screen double-buffering pixmap is the wrong size
- Bottom scrollbar overlaps the side one
- Controls are somewhat obscure
- Please email me about any other bugs you find at
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