What software or sites might simulate an N-body gravitational problem? Application is related to Klemperer Rosette or Iridium Satellites. Bias for C, C++, PHP, or Java. Nice visuals a big plus.

Similar questions are here in Computation Science for binary stars, satellites and comets but I need to simulate several planet-size celestial bodies over long timescales (1K - 1M years) to determine stability. Asked questions related to my application on Space Exploration and Physics but haven't gotten much interest or answers. Turning here to consider researching myself.

Possibilities so far:

  • ORSA sounds promising but is 10 years old, has six errors on install, and crashes. I have it showing a cute little Earth going around a cute little Sun at about 20 samples per second. It will export thousands of PNGs but not an AVI.
  • ODTBX seems more for artificial satellites around Earth and may require MATLAB.
  • Celestia seems more for visual rendering than long-term simulation.
  • GMAT seems more for interplanetary spacecraft of a negligible mass.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ mentioning that you value this less than $500 could actually discourage the faceless pool of underexploited crowd source talent from writing this for you for free $\endgroup$
    – k20
    Mar 6, 2014 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ Are you looking for a generic N-Body simulator or do you require real-time visualisation? $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2014 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ Simulation without visualization would still be useful @aragilar. $\endgroup$
    – Bob Stein
    Mar 12, 2014 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Some n-body simulators I aware of are: 1. Gadget: http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/gadget/ 2. nbody6: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~sverre/web/pages/nbody.htm 3. swift: http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~hal/swift.html (but this may be hard to install)


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