My Space Page

I have been interested in astronomy, planets and space travel since I was very young. In 1955 when graduating from high school the exam in Finnish language included a writing of a story in a few optional subjects one of which was "A Journey into Space". I achieved the highest points (laudatur) thanks to the famous book "The Conquest of Space" by Chesley Bonestell and Willy Ley, which had been translated into Finnish language a few years earlier (1952). This book fascinated my mind by predicting 3 stage rocket launchers, satellites, trips to moon and planets.

I later joined the Finnish Astronomical society "Ursa" and the American Planetary Society. When surfing the internet I frequently visit astronomical/space pages of NASA, ESA and the like plus the associated newsgroups like

When the computer age came I applied my newly acquired Basic programming skills to celestial mechanics, first with a Commodore 64, then with Sinclair QL (Quantum Leap) and finally with Apple Macintosh. Every time a new flavor of Basic appeared I tried it first with some sort of a planetary program. The Sinclair "Super Basic" was very advanced at the time and today the object oriented RealBasic is my programming language of choice.

This page contains two examples of my space-programs. The first one was originally written for the Sinclair QL computer but has been rewritten in Macintosh RealBasic and compiled for Mac and Windows. I have placed the files on the FiMUG (Finnish Macintosh Users Group) server. The fimug-server may be down, so, be patient when trying to download the files.


Famous mathematician Lagrange wrestled with multistar systems and calculated solutions for stable systems.
My "Triple Stars" program shows three stars of equal mass in orbit around their common center of gravity. One of the systems is unstable and the other a stable system. The unstable system results in unpredictable star orbits if run for about 20 orbit years. The dt parameter determines the accuracy of calculation and how fast the program runs. The speed parameter alters the orbits of the stars.

Download "" for Macintosh(Intel), 1.4 Mb
"" for Windows, 1,3 Mb


What happens if a big meteor strikes the Earth. A catastrophe, a mass extinction? Well, may be. To simulate the initial events up to the final explosion I have created this small program where you can change the meteor properties like composition (stone, iron...), origin & speed and hit angle into the atmosphere.

Small impactors will be consumed by burning in the atmosphere but bigger ones will hit the earth surface and really big ones will cause an explosion.

Download "" for Mac(Intel), 1.5 Mb
Download "" for Windows, 1.5 Mb

How to use the program:

1) The program involves two windows. The main window shows the meteor path on the sky in two scales. This window also includes all the buttons, sliders and input fields for the approaching meteorite type, speed and size.
2) Choose the meteor type, origin/speed, diameter and hit angle and then press the START button .
3) The second window will show the meteor speed/altitude curve if the v/h checkbox is checked. You can get a grid on this window to accurately read the speed and altitude values. Move this window to an empty space on the screen if it hides the main window.
4) The two accurate things in this program are the law of gravity and the athmospheric air density up to 3000 km altitude (yes kilometers). The density figures I obtained from the Finnish Meteo Service.
5) Formulas for meteor brightness and burning rate in the atmosphere are all my own imagination. And it may be completely wrong although the results look realistic. The parameters have been adjusted so that 1 mm ice crystal evaporates without any flash at over 100 km altitude but a corresponding sand grain will flash. Furthermore, part of a 35 cm stone meteorite will penetrate the atmosphere, this is the minimum size.
6) There are some interesting combinations of meteorite values: Try a 1 m stone meteorite approaching 70 kms at a hit angle of 6.4 degrees?
7) I will be delighted at any feedback to adjust the parameters for more realistic results.

If you have any comments on this page, please, send !

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