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DON'T. Yes, using IDL requires a valid license. If the code can be re-implemented in Python in a reasonable amount of time$^1$, do it. You might be helped along by astropy and pydl. The former provides a growing library of useful astronomy functions, the latter specifically targets reproducing astronomy IDL routines in Python (and is affiliated with ...


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You can try gnuplot, it might have a slight learning curve at the beginning, but overall it's very versatile: http://www.gnuplotting.org/equipotential-lines/ http://gnuplot.sourceforge.net/demo_canvas/vector.html


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I will add another recommendation: CP2K. It is not written C/C++, it is written in Fortran; this might require a bit of time to adapt if you want to actually modify the code and have not encountered Fortran before. However, CP2K can do both quantum and classical mechanics simulations, and it can scale well. For example, a presentation by Jürg Hutter from ...


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By now - 2015 - I found a lot of public codes: I'm exploring the very well documented CESAM2k (you can find it). It is very complete, graphics output via PGPLOT, but it is 1D and no MHD- MagnetoHydroDynamics . I'm glad it is not huge, as mesa is, because I intend to include a new module, had the time, patience and skill. Here is a 2014 review of the ...


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The current data release is DR12. As to how to interact with the data, it depends somewhat on what you want to do. If you have small queries, for instance if you want data for only a handful of objects, there are a couple of web interfaces. If you have larger queries in mind, CASJobs is a good place to start. You'll inevitably need the schema browser to know ...



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