# Questions tagged [ephemeris]

Questions about the predicted positions of an object in space, like another planet, comet, or asteroid.

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### Why is the time between equinoxes different?

The path of the Earth around the sun is described as being an ellipse, with the Sun being at one of the foci of the ellipse. Since an ellipse, by definition, is symmetrical with respect to the foci, I ...
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### For how many solar system bodies do recent JPL Development Ephemerides include libration?

Since the Earth and the Moon are so gravitationally and tidally engaged and the laser ranging data so precise, the JPL Development Ephemerides are based on extensive modeling of the Earth-Moon system ...
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### JPL Horizons - "highly accurate measurements of planetary positions" - how do they do it?

According to JPL Horizons, with regard to their planetary position calculations, ... we integrate the equations of motion in Cartesian coordinates ($x,y,z$), and we adjust the initial conditions in ...
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### Callisto's orbit: circular vs JPL is periodic 4 degree error, why?

I am approximating the azimuthal angle of Callisto from Jupiter or the Jupiter+moons barycenter using a constant angular speed circular orbit. This differs from the JPL ephemerides by only about 4 ...
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### Instantaneous gravity in equation of motion for ephemerides calculation

The equation of motion used for the calculation of orbits of solar system objects (Eq(27) in https://ipnpr.jpl.nasa.gov/progress_report/42-196/196C.pdf ) is formulated in terms of instantaneous ...
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### Precision in the measurement of the distance to the Sun

How precisely can the distance to the Sun be measured? Wikipedia says the distance to the Moon can be measured upto millimeter precision. But Wikipedia article on distance to the Sun says only about ...
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### How accurate should sun\moon ephemeris be for calculating eclipses?

I am writing a program to simulate eclipses for about -2000 to 6000. My question is, how accurate does my ephemeris for the sun and moon have to be to get a decent accuracy for eclipses? I currently ...
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### How the heck does JPL actually do the numerical integration for their development ephemerides? (general questions)

After writing this answer to JPL Horizons - "highly accurate measurements of planetary positions" - how do they do it? which draws from Park, Folkner, Williams & Boggs 2021 The JPL ...
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### How to determine when Sun/Moon is aligned to two location on Earth's surface?

I would like to make a photo to Moon/Sun when it is very low on horizon, so if I make the shot far away from an object on Earth surface, it appears as big as the Sun. But how can I calculate the right ...
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### Can I calculate the apparent position of comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3 from a topographic position with Skyfield?

I'd like to get .altaz(next_several_weeks) of this comet from Skyfield and .separation_from() other planets. It reads the JPL ...
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1 vote
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### What is the difference between SPICE kernels and JPL Development Ephemerides? Is a DE just a bunch of kernels on a string?

My imposter syndrome is acting up again after I posted several comments under: What is the mathematics needed for understanding DE440 and translating it into xyz coordinates? Now I feel like I don't ...
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I have two ephemerides for orbital elements—that is, each contains $a$ (semi-major axis), $e$ (ecc.), $i$ (incl.), $\Omega$ (long. asc. node), $\omega$ (arg. of peri.), $\tau$ (time of peri.), $T$ (...