Astronomy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for astronomers and astrophysicists. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

One of my favorite tools for modeling the solar system is the Horizons Ephemeris generator where I can get position and velocity vectors of various bodies. Is there something similar for neighboring stars?

The closest I've come so far is Ashland Studio's 500 nearest stars in the Hipparcos Catalog. It gives distance of each star. Clicking on a star in this list will often give the star's relative velocity wrt our solar system. But it doesn't the direction of it's motion.

For the time being I'd like the model the stars within about 20 lightyears of Sol.

share|improve this question
Dude, the Ashland link you gave does give direction. See under Astrometry – Cheeku Apr 12 '14 at 8:36
The Ashland pages give proper motion. I suppose I could use that plus the distance from the sun to get the transverse velocity vector. But I don't see the radial velocity vector. Even if it had the radial velocity vector, making vectors in Cartesian coordinates would be a chore. Gerald provided just what I was looking for. – HopDavid Apr 12 '14 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You may use the XHIP star catalog, using the fields X,Y,Z for the heliocentric position and U,V,W for the heliocentric velocity vector.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, that's what I was looking for. – HopDavid Apr 12 '14 at 18:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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