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I am researching for a sci-fi novel that will happen in 2136. For this I would like to know specific positions of "smaller" celestial bodies in our Solar System. An example can be the dwarf planet Ceres and other big rocks in the Main Asteroid Belt.

There will be a lot of traveling in the Inner Solar System and I need to know the relative distances between two objects.

If possible, I would like the tool to be open-source.

Edit: I am looking for a tool like NASA's Eyes. That tool can give a detailed and global view on the Solar System. It has the orbits of different bodies. It also lets me play with time and distance. And most importantly, it can give me the distance between two bodies (https://eyes.nasa.gov/).

The main problem with NASA's app is that it only let me travel to until 2050 :/

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Celestia can run on MacOS. With is, you can travel in the solar system and in time. It can give you a good idea of how far things are from each other.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the tip. Although I can't find a way to have a global view on the Solar System and/or to check the distances between bodies. I'm looking for something like the NASA's Eyes app (link in updated question) $\endgroup$
    – quasi
    May 1 '20 at 21:09
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You can use stellarium.

It allows to stimulate view for any time. And it allows to set your observation points onto any place on many different solar system bodies. Then you can see the distance to another body. You can import your own bodies, and this get distances to those from existing bodies, and very likely even set them as observation origin.

I recently had fun using it to create an observation recommendation for the hypothetical first colony from Kim Stankey Robinson's Mars trilolgy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice. So, if I get it right, I could place my own space stations and check when it's the best time to travel to them? $\endgroup$
    – quasi
    May 3 '20 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ I think it should be possible. By default it shows data for a plethora of active and inactive satellite. Should be straight forward to add another, if you read up on the required data format $\endgroup$ May 3 '20 at 22:24
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If you specificaly want to know the distance between planetary bodies, you can use the astronomical calculations tool in Stellarium. To access the tool, either press F10, or go to the left hand side toolbar pictured below

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From there, go to the "PC" (for "Planetary Calculations") page

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Here, you can select any two bodies in the Solar System (including the Tesla Roadster!)

enter image description here

And you can either show the distance at a given moment along with a few other bits of data, or plot the distance between the two over time.

Since, you can also move in time in Stellarium (using the J, K and L keys, or with the buttons in the bottom toolbar, or in the Date/time window with the F5 key), you can set the time and date to any moment, and see the distance between bodies of the Solar System at that moment.

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