Questions tagged [positional-astronomy]

Questions about positions of objects in the sky, either relative to a fixed coordinate system like the equatorial and ecliptic coordinate systems, or relative to an observer's point of view.

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32 views

Marine Sextants: Plastic vs. Metal composition [closed]

What are the differences between plastic and metal and why?
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1answer
35 views

Where can I get J2000 epoch initial mean longitudes for all planets and celestial bodies?

I'm following this paper to calculate geocentric coordinates. The authors have provided the initial mean longitude values for the planets (provided in attached table) for 01.01.2000 @ 00.00 UT but I'...
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42 views

Converting rectangular to polar coordinates

I'm following the steps in this paper on how to calculate geocentric longitude. In section 3.4.2 it says the Geocentric rectangular co-ordinates of Mercury then are: ...
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1answer
64 views

Map planetary eccentricity on a perfect circle? [closed]

What is the formula to plot an eccentric orbit on a perfect circle? I have estimated the full degrees each planet would occupy on a 360 degree wheel (natal chart) but how do I take into account a ...
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948 views

Solar / lunar positions in ECEF using SOFA C libraries

I'd like to calculate the positions of the sun and moon in the ECEF coordinate system using the SOFA (http://www.iausofa.org/current_C.html) libraries given a Julian day input. So far, I've got this ...
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2answers
213 views

Understanding the JPL Ephemerides

I'm working on an animation that replicates our Solar System. I know this has been done before, but I'm working on something that requires me to make one myself. With that being said, I'm having a ...
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Can I derive the position of my house's shadow from sun altitude?

I'd like to pull in my awning if my house's shadow has reached a point where the awning has no use any more. The house is almost perfectly aligned in a North-South direction, the garden with the ...
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23 views

Position Angle Relative to North

I am trying to find the position angle of a star whose Ra and dec are known. I have already looked at the 'Measuring misalignment between two positions on sky' question and answer, but the answer ...
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3answers
69 views

Looking for a Solar System Simulator including the smaller celestial body, for macOS

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 ...
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1answer
60 views

What is meant by *topocentric* right ascension and declination?

I'm looking up how to convert an azimuth/elevation measurement from a specific location on Earth's surface to right ascension/declination. I'm coming across the terms "topocentric declination" and "...
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1answer
64 views

Galactic Equator zenith transit

I need to find the two times of zenith passage of the Galactic Equator for a given Earth Lat/Lon on any day between 3500 BC and 1500 AD. Since the Galactic Equator is a line and not a point, I try to ...
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1answer
66 views

how to calculate distance between galaxies in the distant past

for example, assume there is a high redshift galaxy called "A" with z=6, so how to calculate the distance between us and another galaxy B when the light left the galaxy A? For example, say B has a ...
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1answer
54 views

Visible satellites real time position API

I'm trying to obtain the azimuth and elevation of all (or at least the majority) visible artificial satellites from a given latitude and longitude. Is there a quite stable API that does that for free? ...
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87 views

What constellation is closest to the Zenith with RA=12 and Dec =47.6?

I have several options, but I do not know how to calculate which option is closest to the zenith in title. Could you please help me with this? Thank you. ...
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What book(s) should I read to get started learning about astronomy? [duplicate]

I'm an undergrad software engineer but I also love physics and math. I'm starting to get going in AI/Machine Learning techniques and I'm going to use NASA data-sets to conduct analysis. However, I am ...
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1answer
94 views

Latitude of given altitude of Sun

From Question #6 of USAAAO First Round 2018 (1 point) For the following problem find the range in which the answer lies: on the day of summer solstice, on which geographic latitude is the sun ...
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1answer
242 views

Plotting Astronomical Data Using Python

I have been trying to create a graph which shows the distances between the stars and the earth, yet I could not obtain the desired graph as seen below (click to zoom in): My graph: As @uhoh ...
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1answer
123 views

Help with Converting Right Ascension and Declination into 3D Vectors

Using the Right Ascension and Declination values from the HYG Database from The Astronomy Nexus: Right ascension is measured in hours and declination is measured in degrees. 1 - Convert right ...
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470 views

Galactic Coordinate System and distance

If the Galactic Coordinate System is made up of two values, angles of longitude and latitude, how is distance measured? If you have those two values, you get a line from the sun in a certain direction....
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Are there any *client-side* JavaScript astronomy libraries? (not node.js)

Are there any client-side JavaScript astronomy libraries? Almost every library I see appears to be server side for node.js. I realize some node.js libraries can be adapted for client-side use, so I'...
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1answer
88 views

ra for sun vs stars

There is formula for stars sideral time: $$ra - \arccos(-\tan(dec)*\tan(lat)).$$ where $ra$ - is right of ascension at the vernal equinox. $lat$ = latitude $dec$ = declination Is it applicable ...
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1answer
88 views

Jean Meeus - calculating moon rise, transit and set times - help isolating error in logic

I've been working my way through the Jean Meeus Astronomical Algorithms book for a few weeks, to implement some of the key algorithms for a personal project. This task has been a little more complex ...
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2k views

Calculating Angular Distance

Given the horizontal coordinates of two objects in the sky, how does one go about calculating the angular separation between them?
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1answer
82 views

Could someone please explain to me how I can extract velocity component values from Stellarium, for a given planet?

For a project that I am currently working on, I would like to know how one could extract velocity component values ($v_x$, $v_y$ and $v_z$) for a planet from the Stellarium software. The current ...
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1answer
43 views

Data in measures paper

What do this data mean please? http://cdsads.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1904AnOBN...8a...1N&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf
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1answer
68 views

Sky from Equator at 8,000 years Before Present?

The Stellarium software allows future views of the sky. I need an online resource (planetarium projector?) that shows pre-historical views, and from the Equator at 8,000 years before the present.
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1answer
166 views

Error when calculating Alt/Az from Ra/Dec

I wrote a program based on this tutorial: http://www.stjarnhimlen.se/comp/ppcomp.html to calculate altitude and azimuth of a celestial object. When I compare the calculated RA/Dec values to the ones ...
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1answer
134 views

VSOP for exosatellites? (Io, Titan, Ariel, etc)

VSOP87 (and the subsequent VSOP2000 and VSOP2013) provide reasonably accurate planetary positions while still maintaining a small file size compared to the Chebyshev polynomial files. VSOP ...
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1answer
243 views

Planets positions (azimuth, altitude) API

I'm looking for a simple API that will allow me to get positions of planets and the moon for a given date, location and time. Does anyone know an API like that? Any suggestions or alternatives would ...
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2answers
88 views

How should I think about sunlight for the purposes of analyzing the angles it makes w/ earth?

Most diagrams I see of sunlight look like something like this: . They show that for basic geometric analyses, the sun's radiation can be thought of as 'thin lines' that strike earth. Further, at an ...
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448 views

Can Eight Retrograde (seen from Earth) planets occur?

First of all, for the purposes of this question Pluto is a planet. So the eight planets being considered are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. My question is: can all ...
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1answer
117 views

Is the longitude assigned to sunspots spherical or projected?

Sunspot maps are created from a projection of the sun, so the coordinates of sunspots (or active regions in general) are assigned according to it. Do these coordinates correspond to actual spherical ...
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206 views

evaluate solar eclipse Besselian elements? [closed]

I found this NASA website which says that to predict eclipse, we should solve the Besselian elements ..what does this mean, how can I solve for Besselian elements? Is there a numerical method? I need ...
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99 views

How to calculate planetary positions hundreds or thousands of years ago

Wondering how to calculate the following in a general way: Sunrise/sunset Equinoxes/solstices Moon phases Planetary positions For hundreds to thousands of years ago. Wondering what the calculation ...
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2answers
655 views

Is this a real picture of the moon?

I found this picture and I am really wondering if it is possible for the moon to get as close to the earth as this picture shows? ( Super moon above Rio De Janeiro)
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2answers
460 views

Length of a tidal day or by how much is the Moon late each day?

A tidal day is the MEAN time between successive meridian transits of the Moon. (This is sometimes called called a lunar day, a term that should be deprecated for use in this sense, because it is also ...
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2k views

Where can I find/visualize planets/stars/moons/etc positions?

What resources are available to find the positions of planets, stars, moons, artifical satellites, asteroids, and other heavenly bodies?
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1answer
129 views

Geographical Point of the Sun

I want to draw a Sun in a 3d scene, so I figured the easiest way would be to calculate the latitude and longitude of the point perpendicular to Sun position and then just move it "up". As a starting ...
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1answer
85 views

The Sun and Regulus together at the summer solstice

Viewed from Stonehenge, when did the Sun and Regulus rise together at the summer solstice? Also when did Regulus rise before the Sun and would have been seen before the dawn glare?
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1answer
101 views

How to get the solar zenith from the longitude and latitude?

I have real data of “Direct Normal Irradiation” and “Diffuse Horizontal Irradiation” and I should calculate “Global Horizontal Irradiation”. I have also longitude, latitude and elevation. Could you ...
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1answer
69 views

Is there any star recognition framework/library available?

Being a daytime software engineer and a sparetime photographer, I was looking for a nice DIY project for the next weeks. I finally decided to build a star tracker with a camera mount, so that I can ...
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0answers
77 views

Where on Earth can moon rise on the meridian?

Somewhat related to this my picture showing only diurnal motion but Moon—seen from Earth—has a rapid motion with respect to the inertial celestial sphere, unlike stars and planets. Its motion relative ...
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124 views

Is Spherical Astronomy by W. M. Smart a good book on positional/spherical astronomy?

I'm a math undergrad, but I'm really interested in learning positional astronomy; However, the only well-referenced textbook I've come up with is Spherical Astronomy by W. M. Smart. I would like to ...
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1answer
222 views

Formula for sun's atmospheric refraction below the horizon

I have searched in Google and found interesting articles for atmospheric refraction influence on sun's elevation above the horizon (from 0° till 90°). eg. Bennett G.G. etc. I would like to know if ...
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288 views

How do I make a custom pulsar map?

I'm looking to make a custom pulsar map like the one on the Voyager Records, but for an arbitrary location within the Milky Way Galaxy. I'm not even sure where to begin.
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2answers
141 views

Angular speed of a planet across the sky

Assuming circular orbit, the evaluation of the angular speed of a planet around the Sun, just requires its orbital period. Similarly, to calculate its angular speed relative to the Earth (also seen ...
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2answers
152 views

Synodic period of planets

Many books explain the difference between synodic and sideral periods. The synodic period of planets are tabulated for centuries and it is defined as the time interval between two consecutive ...
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1answer
137 views

What are the problems that need to be taken in consideration when trying to find planetary position by using jpl ephemerides?

I'm currently trying to determine the position of the sun and the moon from jpl ephemeris DE200 which is referred to the dynamical equator and equinox of 2000 and uses tdb time. I am using the j2000 ...
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1answer
817 views

How to construct a sky map

First of all, I have very basic knowledge of astronomy so sorry if I make some mistakes in my terminology. I'd like to plot the Southern Cross. I can find the name of its 5 stars. Also, I have some ...
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1answer
129 views

Is it possible to define a state of zero absolute angular momentum anywhere in the universe?

Conservation of angular momentum doesn't seem correct to me. I think this because radiation is present everywhere, no space is completely void, and no object perfect. Thus all objects will have uneven ...