AstroGrav allows you to create and edit systems of gravitationally interacting astronomical bodies, and simulate their evolution with the passage of time. Simulations can be viewed in many different ways, and a comprehensive range of editing features is provided for setting up and modifying your own simulations. A wide variety of sample simulations are provided, and these enable you to experiment with AstroGrav without having to go to the trouble of creating your own simulations. One of these sample simulations has been specially created for use with this tutorial.
This tutorial contains several simple exercises that will introduce you to the basic features of AstroGrav, and show you how to use them effectively. Each exercise leads you step by step through the stages necessary to achieve the desired objective. You will quickly learn how to open existing simulations, evolve simulations, and use the different types of AstroGrav windows. In later exercises, you will learn how to edit existing objects, add new objects, and add new families of objects. After completing the exercises, you will have all the skills needed to use AstroGrav on your own. The tutorial makes frequent use of one of the sample simulations, so make sure that before starting, you have downloaded them and know where they are located on your hard disk.
The tutorial assumes that you have all the basic skills needed to use your computer, such as the following.
The exercises are as follows.
Exercise 1 - Preparing the Tutorial Simulation (10 minutes)
Exercise 2 - Evolving Simulations (10 minutes)
Exercise 3 - Using View Windows (20 minutes)
Exercise 4 - Using Other Types of Windows (15 minutes)
Exercise 5 - Editing Existing Objects (15 minutes)
Exercise 6 - Adding New Objects (20 minutes)
Exercise 7 - Adding New Families of Objects (30 minutes)
If you follow the exercises on screen, you will find that you have to frequently swap from reading the instructions on your browser to using AstroGrav itself. For this reason, you may find it easier to follow the exercises by printing them off, and reserving your computer solely for use with AstroGrav.
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