I need a free open source planetary orbit simulator software that should be able to calculate orbit stability for a couple simple planetary systems. Basically, I need to calculate orbit durations for a simple system I am building as a background for a fantasy story (so there won't be science fiction involved, I just need that to have some sort of possible year duration and such. In this stellar system, my planet is a moon orbiting a Jupiter-like planet, and it is tidally locked. The Jupiter like planet orbits its star, so the moon/satellite also gets some sort of day/night on both sides from the star. Besides, that star also orbits a binary system.

So, is there any good free open source planetary orbit simulation software that would enable me to simulate this whole system with the star that orbits the binary system, the Jupiter-like giant that orbits that star and the large moon that orbits the giant planet?


Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Physics SE. This is not a site to ask for software recommendations, for questions on implementation of computational software are off topic, as is stated in the Help Center. $\endgroup$ – user70720 Mar 22 '15 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ maybe you can ask on worldbuilding.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – Kartik Mar 22 '15 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ If simulation of point particles is enough for you, check out N-body simulation packages, for example ast.cam.ac.uk/~sverre/web/pages/nbody.htm $\endgroup$ – Ján Lalinský Mar 22 '15 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ rebound.readthedocs.io $\endgroup$ – CDCM Sep 3 '17 at 0:57

I looked for something that may help you and the most promising is at this site. Other possibilities include here, here, and here. One of these links (2nd one) is actually a game engine so I not sure how useful it would be. I found these by a simple google search and there were many more. The 1st link looked very promissing.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.