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Developer(s) Scharf Software Systems, Inc.
Development status Abandonware
Operating system Apple II, DOS
Type Simulation
License Proprietary

TellStar was the first graphical astronomy program ever available for personal computers.[citation needed] It was sold from 1980-1986 by Scharf Software Services, and was available for the Apple II and IBM PC computers. It came in two versions; Level 1, which only plotted the Northern Hemisphere, and Level 2, which was able to plot the entire sky.[1]

TellStar could predict the position of celestial objects on any point of the earth at any time between 0 and 3000AD. Available celestial objects were planets, Messier objects, and stars from 3 different catalogs, totaling to over 600 entries.[2]

Plots could be done in 9 directions, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and overhead (a view upwards the sky). Clicking on a star with a joystick or gamepad would give detailed information on each object, including declination, right ascension, magnitude, rising and setting times in sidereal time and Universal Time, and ranges of the year of visibility.[3]


  1. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (May 21, 1985). "PERIPHERALS; ASTRONOMY SOFTWARE". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  2. ^ Evan Scharf (Guest) (1986-02-13). "Astronomy Software". Computer Chronicles. San Mateo, California. Event occurs at 10:40. PBS. KCSM-TV. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  3. ^ Philip Casella (11 May 1981). "TellStar, Level 1, from IUS, Inc.". InfoWorld. Palo Alto, California. 3 (9): 26. ISSN 0199-6649. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 

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