Projects / PP3


PP3 creates celestial charts. It generates resolution-independent maps of very high graphical quality. They can be used, for example, as illustrations in books or on Web pages. It is possible to change many parameters, and arbitrary text can be placed on the maps. The output formats are EPS or PDF.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  21 Dec 2003 09:55

    Release Notes: This release includes full documentation, including installation guide, tutorial, illustrations, keyword reference, and index.

    •  10 Nov 2003 10:00

      Release Notes: The example input scripts now cover all 88 sky constellations, including all of their constellation lines. An example GIMP script shows how to convert PP3 output to bitmaps in batch mode. Some bugs were fixed, one of which could have caused the program to abort.

      •  30 Jul 2003 14:57

        Release Notes: New features include a reference card, more Wikipedia example scripts, many more constellation lines (the Northern sky is almost complete now), and Tic Marks. The new "nebulae" switch can be used to switch nebulae on or off globally. Some bugfixes were made.

        •  29 Apr 2003 21:09

          Release Notes: A new label type for text that flows along a declination circle was introduced. Many examples used for Wikipedia show how to use the program for large projects. The location of the data files can now be chosen more flexibly. LaTeX command hooks provide even more configurability. An RPM is available.

          •  20 Feb 2003 13:58

            Release Notes: Neat "flex labels" that follow a declination circle were added. Input scripts used for the Wikipedia celestial charts were added as examples. The constellation lines database was made more complete.

            Recent comments

            26 Feb 2004 11:45 EscapeGoat

            Can't get charts to work.
            Although the large pdf manual is impressive, I can't get it to work. I really want to generate some maps or I wouldn't bother posting this.
            If I cd into the examples directory where all the .pp3 files are and run:
            "pp3 orion.pp3"
            it does create a orion.eps file
            However it looks nothing like the example of that is displayed in the manual other than it is Orion.
            My map has a white background. Not blue
            My map has some stars and constellations named
            My map shows only about 1/3 of the area that the doc shows.
            My map shows far less stars.
            Example II:

            "You can override these defaults step by step. Let's do so: Write
            # Cygnus, the Swan
            filename output swan.tex
            switch pdf_output on
            set center_rectascension 19.95
            set center_declination 40.8
            to the file `swan.pp3' and call
            pp3 swan.pp3

            By following the above commands exactly:

            [root@localhost examples]# # Cygnus, the Swan
            [root@localhost examples]# filename output swan.tex
            bash: filename: command not found
            [root@localhost examples]# switch pdf_output on
            bash: switch: command not found
            [root@localhost examples]# set center_rectascension 19.95
            [root@localhost examples]# set center_declination 40.8
            [root@localhost examples]# pp3 swan.pp3
            pp3: Input script file swan.pp3 not found.

            Am I doing it wrong? I guess so.
            Am I following the manual instructions verbatim?
            I believe I am.

            So what gives?
            What am I missing or what are you missing?


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