Calculating Celestial Coordinates

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I tried to find information on how to calculate celestial coordinates. Unfortunately, most of the information I was able to find described this topic from a conceptual standpoint.

I am assuming that this requires knowledge of spherical trigonometry, correct? Are there different methods one could employ to accomplish this task?

If you have done research in celestial mechanics, or could give advice on this topic, I would appreciate it.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
jim mcnamara
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Wow. Smart's Spherical Astronomy is still top drawer - textbook wise? I have a copy of that from the 70's, I think. It is a very good book. But not application oriented.

Howto guides started IMO with Jan (or Jean) Meeus. Google for 'jan meeus'

Astronomical Formulae for Calculators (1988), 4th ed Enlarged and revised, Willmann-Bell Inc, ISBN 0-943396-22-0

Astronomical Algorithms (1998), 2nd ed, ISBN 0-943396-61-1

He also has a series of books 'Mathematical Astronomy Morsels'

A lot of canned opensource programs arose from Meeus work:
http://astrolabe.sourceforge.net/ [Broken] Astrolabe uses python (PC or Linux). This will calculate coordinates for objects.
 
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  • #4
mgb_phys
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Wow. Smart's Spherical Astronomy is still top drawer - textbook wise? I have a copy of that from the 70's, I
What's changed in Spherical Astronomy since the 1700s ?

Thanks for the links I didn't have any to hand.
 
  • #5
D H
Staff Emeritus
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What's changed in Spherical Astronomy since the 1700s ?
Vectors.
 

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