Questions on systems to uniquely determine position of a point or other geometric element on a manifold such as Euclidean space.

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Best format for analyzing and comparing coordinates across multiple tables

First coding project so if I am asking something wrong or asking too much please let me know. ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated, including how to better word this question if necessary. ...
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1answer
21 views

Could celestial coordinates be encoded into three-word combinations?

I came across this cool tool which encodes geographic coordinates into 3 dictionary words - table.lamp.chair - for example. You can see their map here https://map.what3words.com/. It divides the world ...
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71 views

uses of coordinate systems

Wikipedia describes the five following celestial coordinate systems each with rectangular/spherical variants: horizontal equatorial ecliptic galactic supergalactic What are the practical preferred ...
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1answer
99 views

Finding a location using the direction of shadow, UT and date approximately

Does anyone know how to find a location by using : the direction of shadow relative to the normal (for example azimuth angle) the Universal time (UT) and date I have a satellite image and I know ...
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2answers
74 views

Does the retrograde movement affect the true angular distance between 2 planets?

I need to calculate the relative angular path between two planets in the geocentric view or in other words the number of degrees of a circle one planet travels away from another planet around the ...
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2answers
54 views

a random distribution of RA&Dec

How to make random positions in Equatorial coordinate system? If I divide Dec between -90 and 90 evenly, the space distribution is not random.
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25 views

Protocol for establishing longitudinal meridians on other heavenly bodies

When we first observe a new heavenly body (it could be a new star, asteroid, etc.,or a minor planet in our own solar system), are there any procedures set in place for establishing a system of ...
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37 views

a math problem in Spherical astronomy [closed]

this is an exercise from Spherical astronomy by Smart, which i want to solve: $\frac{d \eta}{d H}= -\cos(\phi) \cos (A) (\sin (z))^{-1}$ when $\phi$ is latitude, $\eta$ is parallax, $H$ is sidereal ...
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1answer
50 views

Pointing direction movement of a fixed camera

first doubt here: I have a fixed camera, whose coordinates I know, pointing to the sky. After the first image, I performed a astrometry calculation from nova.astrometry.net and I got, among other ...
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1answer
58 views

Calculating azimuth from equatorial coordinates

I try to get the azimuth of an object from its equatorial coordinates using this formula: $a = \arctan2(\sin(θ - α), \sin φ * \cos(θ - α) - \cos φ * \tan δ)$ Where φ = geographic latitude of the ...
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42 views

Converting ecliptical to equatorial coordinates

When looking for a formula to convert polar ecliptic geocentric coordinates of an object to equatorial coordinates I find various sources that give these formulae (like Wikipedia): Declination $δ = \...
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2answers
100 views

A beginner project in plotting celestial bodies in 3D coordinate space

As a data visualization task, I'd like to plot some celestial bodies in 3D coordinate space. I assumed there would be a lot of databases where celestial bodies are recorded along with an XYZ ...
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66 views

Coordinates reduction python

How can I calculate position (alt, az) of star for observer at some station (longitude, latitude) on specific date and time? I need full coordinates reduction with all elements included in calculation ...
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3answers
56 views

Need Simple equation for Rise, Transit, and Set time

I've been looking, unsuccessfully, for hours for a simple set of equations: Input: RA and Dec of an object Observers Lat and Lng Current Time Output: Rise Time Transit Time Set Time (and, ...
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2answers
36 views

Question on Equatorial and Galactic coordinate systems

I'm currently working with proper motions and have needed to convert my galactic longitude and latitude into right ascension and declination (ie from galactic to equatorial coordinates). This is fine ...
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1answer
40 views

Why is declination positive in the northern hemisphere?

Simple question -- why is declination positive in the northern hemisphere? Seems like it should've been called "inclination" since the word originated north of the equator.
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1answer
32 views

Declination change due to precession

I have this problem: I want to calculate the declination of the star in the year 5000. And I know RA (right ascension) and Dec (declination) of the star right now. How can I calculate it using ...
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1answer
129 views

Is there a map of the galaxies?

I see that there are many maps of a single galaxy, the Milky Way, showing the positions of the stars within our galaxy. I could not find a map of Galaxies, however. Is there such a map? In lieu of ...
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1answer
218 views

What part of the milky way do we see from earth?

When looking up at the night sky, we can sometimes observe a bright band of stars stretching across it. I know this is our galaxy but exactly what are we looking at? Could we look at the centre of ...
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1answer
57 views

Where's the Prime Meridian of celestial coordinates

...or what's the 'direction of vernal equinox'? For both Ecliptic and Equatorial coordinate system, the Wikipedia article gives "Primary direction (0° longitude)" - "Vernal Equinox", linking to ...
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52 views

Planetary reference systems and time

I am researching into how coordinate systems of solar systems objects are created by reading some of the reports written by the Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements (e.g. ...
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1answer
66 views

Obtaining stars vector position in relation to the center of the galaxy at a given date

How can someone obtain such vector, for stars in the Milky Way? Input should be star data (from a catalog, eg: Hipparcos) and Julian Date. Output should be a Vector Position (in pc) in relation to ...
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0answers
58 views

Calculating AZ and ALT from RA and DEC: values are slightly different from Stellarium

I'm developing my own planetarium software and I using Stellarium to check if the values a get from my software are correct or not. All values are roughly equal, being different only in the seconds. ...
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1answer
84 views

Conversion from Equatorial Coordinate to Horizon Coordinates

I'm developing my own Planetarium software using C++ following the book Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet 4th Edition. I don't know if I my formulas are correct or not, but when ...
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95 views

Earth-Centered Earth-Fixed coordinates with respect to heliocentric coordinate system at vernal equinox

I am trying to calculate the position of a point on the Earth's surface with respect to the Sun's center at certain date at time. For what I am trying to do it is OK to ignore precession of Earth's ...
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1answer
118 views

Conversion between Astronomical Frames, ex. IRCF, FK5, FK4, etc…

I'm a little bit confused about reference frames, and I was wondering if someone could help clarify a few things? So let's say I have equatorial coordinates that refer to the mean equator and equinox ...
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1answer
108 views

Calculation of hour angle

I need to determine Right Ascension and Declination from Azimuth and Altitude, working in C#. The problem is that the formula for calculating hour angle, for some reason, doesn't work. Here's the code:...
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2answers
179 views

Software to convert RA and DEC into ALT and AZ

I have implemented the formulas to convert AR and Dec into altitude and Azimuth in C++ following the book Practical Astronomy with your Calculator or Spreadsheet 4th Edition. In the book there is an ...
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1answer
53 views

Math for calculating the terrestrial longitude directly under the sun with time

I'm trying to calculate the longitude on the earth where it's noon at some time. (That is, the longitude which is coplanar with the plane defined by the sun and the earth's axis.) Here is my python ...
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1answer
98 views

Which is the shape of the sky?

I'm a software developer and I'm developing a planetarium and the first thing that I don't know is: What is the shape of the sky? First, I though that it is a semi-sphere, but searching on Internet I ...
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1answer
393 views

Given a date obtain latitude and longitude where is the sun zenith

Searching is easy to find terminator line (frontier between day and night) or the position of the sun in the sky given a position on the earth and a time; but I can't find how to obtain where is the ...
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2answers
257 views

How to calculate position of an unknown star knowing positions of some other stars from an image?

Suppose I know the coordinates (right ascension and declination) of the stars marked with red. How should I calculate the coordinates of an unknown star, marked with yellow? Searching over the web, I ...
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0answers
67 views

coordinates in ICRF

The International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF) is defined based on distant quasars and the origin is the barycentre of the Solar system. So, how can we measure the coordinates (\alpha, \delta) of ...
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1answer
279 views

Calculating RA/dec from JPL ephemeris data

I'm using JPL planetary ephemerides to calculate the position of planets. Using DE405 ephemeris (using a parser provided by Project Pluto with all tests passing). I am fetching the position of Mars ...
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1answer
33 views

How to convert horizontal coordinates using NOVAS?

I'm using NOVAS 3.1. I know that I can convert equatorial coordinates to horizontal coordinates using the equ2hor function. Is it possible to make NOVAS do the ...
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2answers
519 views

How to calculate distance from object to point on celestial sphere

I'd like to calculate the distance (in arcsec) from the object nearest to ra='08h55m10s' dec='-7d14m42s' to that point on the celestial sphere. I am actually having trouble identifying the object. I ...
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0answers
38 views

Is Nomad data heliocentric or geocentric?

I'm wondering if the data in star catalogues are heliocentric equatorial coordinates or geocentric equatorial coordinates. Also given the distance between stars compared to the distance between the ...
3
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1answer
262 views

Calculate telescope orientation based on RA, DEC and Lat/Long

I'm parsing FITS files for a project based on data from a telescope. These files include 'DEC', 'RA' and lat long values. I understand roughly the concept of celestial coordinates and I assume that ...
2
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2answers
65 views

How do I find the RA of sunset and sunrise in a specific location?

I want to make some observations with a telescope in Hawaii on Mauna Kea but I am living somewhere else (not Hawaii) and I want to plan a night's viewing on the Hawaiian telescope. How do I find the ...
2
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2answers
72 views

Why objects are uniquely defined by their right ascention and declination?

I've just started studiyng Astronomy. I understood how I would measure Right Ascention and Declination: for the first one I'd trace an Hour cirlce to the Celestial Equator, and then, compute the ...
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2answers
604 views

Why is right ascension measured in hours?

When viewing star maps in Stellarium, I noticed that the meridians of the equatorial grid were denoted in hours and not degrees, and that always puzzled me. Why did astronomers choose this system? I ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Calculate latitude and longitude based on date and sun

I can't seem to find this algorithm, if it exists. Can you calculate the longitude and latitude of where you are standing based on the date and the angle of the sun? Also, would the algorithm work for ...
6
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1answer
128 views

Calculation of Horizontal Coordinates

Given a fixed coordinate location on Earth (i.e. a latitude and longitude), and a fixed equatorial coordinate location of a particular astronomical object in the sky (i.e. right ascension and ...
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1answer
34 views

how steady over time are right ascension and declination values?

I understand that astronomers use right ascension and declination for the position of stars. However both these values strike me as very anthropocentric and, more importantly, unreliable over time as ...
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2answers
335 views

How are East and West defined on other bodies of our solar system?

I noticed that East and West appear swapped on maps of the Sun, even though the Sun rotates around its polar axis in the same sense as Earth. See for example below Sun disk with a Venus transit ...
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1answer
386 views

Do stars of a galaxy change their positions relatively to each other?

Complete astronomy noob over here who would be happy if he get a simple answer (and who is also aware that this may be not possible)... I've learned from a tv documentary that the stars at the edge ...
5
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1answer
567 views

Convert coordinates between RA/dec and WGS 84 (SRID=4326)

I've imported the HYG Database from http://www.astronexus.com/node/34 and now I need to convert all RA/dec stars positions to fit in a WGS 84 coordinates (SRID=4326) PostGIS map (-180 to 180, 90 to -...
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1answer
106 views

What are angular sizes of thin and thick disks in our Galaxy?

What are diapasons of galactic coordinates for thin and thick disks of our Galaxy?
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1answer
157 views

Coordinate transformations between reference frames in spherical astronomy

Suppose there are two observational frames of reference with origins $O$ and $O'$, respectively, separated by some constant distance. A body located at point $P$ has Cartesian coordinates $\left(x,y,z\...
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3answers
3k views

Could someone explain RA/dec in simple terms?

The equatorial coordinate system isn't too complicated. However, for people new to this, it seems rather intimidating at first. Is there an easy way to explain it?