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How to Compute Planetary Positions

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Author:Paul Schlyter
Description: A description of how to compute the positions for the sun and moon and the major planets, as well as for comets and minor planets, from a set of orbital elements. The algorithms have been simplified as much as possible while still keeping a fairly good accuracy. The instructions link to a tutorial with numerical test cases worked out. Organized into "a few words about accuracy," the time scale, the orbital elements, the position of the sun, the position of the moon and of the planets, the position in space, precession, perturbations of the moon, perturbations of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, geocentric (earth-centered) coordinates, equatorial coordinates, the moon's topocentric position, the position of Pluto, the elongation and physical ephemerides of the planets, positions of asteroids, position of comets, parabolic orbits, near-parabolic orbits, rise and set times, and validity of orbital elements. Also accessible from http://welcome.to/pausch.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles, Tutorials
Math Topics: Astronomy

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