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Best tables for data of objects in our solar system?

  1. Mar 14, 2013 #1
    I'm writing a program that models objects in our solar system in 3D with lots of functionality. (Senor Project in Computer Engineering), since alot of time an effort has gone into this software so far, I'd like to implement the most accurate details to configure several objects.

    By objects, I mean planets, satellites, and dwarf planets. Comets would by interesting too.

    On wikipedia, I found it hard to copy the data each page by page, not to mention some things are not filled out, (inclination is set to ecliptic / sun's equator).

    On nasa, i havent found any good tables, yet (confusing to navigate).

    Since this is the astronomy forums, perhaps anyone has an idea of a good source?

    Again, I am not an astronomer, but I love space and guided my project to this (I do know some astronomy to calculate the planetary motion).

    Thanks in advance! When I finish my program, perhaps I can share it with all. It wont be as near as good as Universe Sandbox or anything, but it is in a different way, a simulation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2013 #2
    Hey Elecomputer!

    I'm not sure if it's a good solution, but seeing how your thread slowly sinks to the second page tells me that I should post it anyway.

    You may try using the database from Stellarium! It has a lot of solar system objects, including planets (of course), their satellites, and some large asteroids. They have a short wiki page describing their data format. Give it a shot.

  4. Mar 22, 2013 #3


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    The Astronomical Almanac not only has tables containing all the data you want, but also formulas for determining the position of objects in the solar system.

    Many of the tables can be found online at the US Naval Observatory.

    The book (which is put out by the USNO and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office) is better, but you might have a hard time getting this year's book. It's already time to order next year's book. (The cost is around $40. You need a new book each year if you're truly serious about your data, but you can get by with a new book every once in a while supplemented by the tables online.)
  5. Mar 22, 2013 #4


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