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Drawing astronomical figures

  1. Jul 3, 2012 #1
    Every once in awhile, I'd like to draw a coordinate figure or something else related to astronomy. I can make a fair cut at it using Word, but something like the attachment would really be good. That goes for the equations to which I believe were probably done with LaTex. For graphics, photoshop, cad program, ...?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2012 #2
    That looks nice...this is one of those images that are a lot easier to 'paint' than to actually draw.

    For 'painting' it, you may be able to interactively do it with something like Inkscape, which is SVG based.

    Then, there is a programming language called Asymptote that I found out about a few weeks ago; it seems very powerful, I am sure you can do whatever you want with it, but you need to learn how to use it...it might be worth your time, if you will find yourself drawing to publication quality.
  4. Jul 7, 2012 #3
    Thanks. Looks a little daunting. Too bad there isn't something aimed at physics or astronomy. I guess the pros hire someone or their organizations have the talent. I might try to contact the fellow who produced the figure I provided.
  5. Jul 9, 2012 #4


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    I'd use gnuplot, as it is kind of a standard in scientific plotting and you can find many examples for similar graphics on the internet. Set the ellipses in parametric form.
    The various segments cann be filled with the filledcurves option. I suppose the symbols can be included as latex code.
    Here is an example of how to draw ellipsis segments in gnuplot:
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
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