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GNU General Public Licence, version 3 RochePlot is a Fortran code using PGPlot to plot a series of binaries to illustrate the key stages in the evolution of a binary star. The code was originally written by Frank Verbunt and further developed by Marc van der Sluys. The code has been used with gfortran (4.8 or newer), g95 and Intel Fortran and can be used under the conditions of version 3 of the GPL. The default installer uses CMake. Plotting is done by PGPlot. RochePlot uses some routines from the Fortran library libSUFR.

Running rochePlot

In order to run rochePlot, you must provide the data of the binary stars you want to plot in an input file. The program expects the name of the input file as a command-line argument. If no argument is given, the code tries to find the example input file rochePlot.dat in a number of likely locations on your system. The example input file is included in the share/ directory of the package tarball, and should be installed in /usr/share/rochePlot/ on a typical Linux system. The image to the right is produced using the default rochePlot.dat.

Input file

In the input file, the user specifies the number of labels that need to be printed, and the desired number of binaries (or evolutionary stages). The masses of the stars and the orbital period are printed by default, a fourth column can be used if desired, as in the case of the age in the example to the right. For each binary, the stellar masses (in M) and radii (in R), and the orbital period (in days) must be provided. If a radius exceeds 105 R, the star is assumed to fill its Roche lobe. If a star fills its Roche lobe, an accretion disc will be drawn around the accretor. To prevent this, place a negative sign in front of the accretor's radius. If both stars fill their Roche lobes, an impression of the onset of a common envelope is drawn (any resemblance to a peanut is accidental).

Further parameters in the input file are used to choose between screen and eps output, to set the scale bar, to specify the horizontal positions of the labels and the title of the plot and the fourth column if specified.

rochePlot pages

Similar packages

If you like rochePlot, you may also be interested in the following FOSS packages:
astroTools command-line tools for astronomy and astrophysics
evTools tools to manipulate and display output from the binary stellar-evolution code ev/STARS/TWIN
GWtool tools for working with gravitational waves
libTheSky a Fortran library to compute the positions of celestial bodies and events with great accuracy

GNU/Linux distributions

RochePlot is available in the following Linux distributions:
Arch Linux: package rocheplot in AUR
Gentoo Linux: package sci-astronomy/rocheplot in the AstroFloyd overlay


For questions or comments you can contact Frank Verbunt or Marc van der Sluys.