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1.2 Installation and Notebooks

Scientific Astronomer is distributed on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM contains one folder called Astronomer.

To install the package you should use the installer program on the CD-ROM. Another way to install is to move the Astronomer folder inside Mathematica's AddOns/Applications/ directory. Optionally, you can move the Astronomer folder to the top level of your own home directory.

Files needed by the package.

Refer to the README file for additional instructions on how to install the package, and on how to customize it for your purposes. The most important task is to edit the HomeSite.m file with your own site details. In that file you will see site details commented out for many cities. If you live in one of these cities, simply uncomment the setting.

The CD-ROM also includes an on-line version of this user's guide. Once you have installed Scientific Astronomer, you will need to open the Help menu in the Mathematica front end and choose Rebuild Help Index. This will make the user's guide, and other information, available in the front end Help Browser.

On-line version of the user's guide.

Worked Examples

Many worked examples are given in the sample notebooks that come with Scientific Astronomer. These sample notebooks are contained in the Astronomer/Documentation/English/Notebooks/ directory. You can open the notebooks directly, or you can access them from within the Help Browser.

Sample notebooks included with Scientific Astronomer.

The sample notebooks cover topics such as satellite tracking, annual meteor showers, eclipses, variable stars, comets, asteroids, and deep sky objects.

Each notebook deals with a particular aspect of astronomy and uses Scientific Astronomer to produce useful information. For instance, the deep sky notebook contains an atlas of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters and it uses Scientific Astronomer to create finder charts for various interesting objects, sorted by location and date of visibility. The comets notebook shows how to make finder charts for comets such as Halley or Hale-Bopp. Similarly, the satellite tracking notebook shows how to track the Mir Space Station or a Space Shuttle mission. This notebook also includes an analysis of the 24 Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The variable stars notebook has Mathematica expressions for predicting the time of maximum brightness of eclipsing binaries and pulsating stars.

Studying the sample notebooks should give you a feel for the types of applications and calculations that Scientific Astronomer can handle.

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