MCDUMP is a computer program that selects data from the SKYMAP SKY2000 Master Star Catalog — a database about 150 MB in size, stored on a computer hard drive.

The database describes about 300,000 stars, each by means of a 500-byte entry. MCDUMP reads all 300,000 entries, then generates an output file that comprises a subset of entries selected according to one or more criteria entered by the user. Examples of criteria that could be entered include: location in a selected portion of the sky; constancy or a specified degree of variability of brightness; absence of nearby, bright companion stars; a particular surface temperature; and brightness sufficient to enable detection by a specified astronomical instrument. The output of MCDUMP can be in the form of either a single 520-column file or multiple files that contain fewer columns to facilitate printing. MCDUMP has been configured and tested for use under the HP-UX 10.20 operating system (a Hewlett-Packard version of the UNIX operating system). It should also be possible to adapt MCDUMP to other versions of UNIX.

This program was written by David A.Tracewell of Goddard Space Flight Center and Christopher B. Sande of Computer Sciences Corporation. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category. GSC-14574 28 NASA Tech Briefs, July 2005

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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