I am constructing a fictional solar system and want to be able to calculate astronomical events and locations, like lunar phases and eclipses, plus the positions of other astronomical bodies in the sky of the inhabited planet. Is there any software that will let me plug in information (like the mass, orbital period, rotational period, axial tilt, and so on) about the star, planets, and moons, and from that get the positions and phases over time from a chosen perspective?

I'd like it to take into account accurate orbital motion and the effects of relativity and all of that, and give results over hundreds of simulated years.

I've searched online without any luck, and programming it myself seems like a very daunting task that I have no idea how to even approach. Does something like this exist?

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean when you say that you are constructing a fictional solar system? Are you just asking whether there is already some available software that complies all these requirements? $\endgroup$
    – Prallax
    Aug 2 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Prallax I am working on developing a story that takes place on a fictional planet in a fictional solar system, with some characters who are astronomers, and I want to include astronomical events in the story. I'd like to be able to simulate the solar system to set up the history of astronomical events within the fictional world. $\endgroup$
    – Lawton
    Aug 2 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Have you considered Celestia? It is based on the real solar system, but you can enter fictional solar systems as well, using plugins. It allows you to look at the solar system from any perspective at any point in time. It is not an N body simulation, tough, the orbits are precomputed $\endgroup$
    – Prallax
    Aug 2 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Prallax it looks promising and I will certainly look into it, but I do want something that is able to simulate orbits based on the information I "know" about my astronomical objects. Thank you for the suggestion! $\endgroup$
    – Lawton
    Aug 2 at 20:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Though I have one observation: for the kind of application you have, you don't need to use n-body simulation and relativity. Kepler's orbits are accurate down to a fraction of a degree. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 2 at 21:28

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