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Simulate eclipsing binary stars

'Nightfall' simulates eclipsing binary stars and produces animated views, synthetic lightcurves, radial velocity curves, and eventually determine the best-fit model for a given set of observational data of an eclipsing binary star system. It takes into account the non-spherical shape of close binary stars, mutual reflection, and some other effects. It comes with documentation, on-line help, and observational data of real binary stars. The program supports but does not require the Gnome desktop. 'Nightfall' can handle the following configurations: 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').

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Verified by

Verified on


Verified by

Janet Casey

Verified on

27 August 2002

Leaders and contributors

Rainer Wichmann Maintainer
See the AUTHORS file in the distribution for a complete list Contributor

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
Bug TrackingVCS Repository Webview

Software prerequisites

Required to useGTK+ 1.0.4 or later
Weak prerequisiteOpenGL *or* MesaGL
Weak prerequisitegtkglarea (both for OpenGL support)
Weak prerequisiteGnome
Weak prerequisitegnuplot

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 22 January 2008.


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