3D Astronomy with Java : An Introduction to Computer Graphics

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9780943396934: 3D Astronomy with Java : An Introduction to Computer Graphics
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Astronomy is best learned by doing and this book provides the tools. Ideas like anomaly, astronomical coordinate systems, nutation, precession and the many methods of measuring time are key to understanding positional astronomy. These concepts are discussed from first principles with detailed explanations and derivations of their interrelations. Simultaneous with the development of ideas from astronomy, the reader is introducted to the foundations of three-dimensional computer graphics using the Java programming language. Java is a high-level language, which is free for Macintosh, Windows and Linux users; the programs found here will run equally well on any of these platforms. As each concept from astronomy is introduced, the reader is guided through the development of computer programs that demonstrate thephenomenta visually. As the toolset grows, data from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is introduced and explained. This data provides very precise position data for the planets over a period of roughly 6,000 years. Star data is also provided, based on the Tycho-2 Catalogue. The capstone is the development of a computerized planetarium which animates the view of the sky from any position on the earth's surface.

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