5. Planet Plotting Functions
Scientific Astronomer has two functions for plotting the general appearance of a planet or the Moon. PlanetPlot and PlanetPlot3D show the general color, axis orientation, and the region illuminated by the Sun for each planet or the Moon. A more detailed graphic is rendered in the case of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Earth, and the Moon. In some cases eclipses are rendered as well.
Planet-plotting functions are concerned with plotting the appearance of a planet or moon. Other functions are provided for producing finder charts to aid in locating the position of planets or moons. For instance, VenusChart generates a graphic showing the apparitions of Venus during a given eight-year interval. You can print this chart and refer to it whenever you need to know whether Venus is visible on a given night. A similar function is OuterPlanetChart, which shows the position of the outer planets over at least an eleven-year interval.
One other function available is JupiterMoonChart, which is similar to PlanetChart, except that it shows the position of the Galilean moons of Jupiter over a specified time interval.
Setting Your Site Location
Load the package.
If you have not already configured the HomeSite.m file with your site location and time zone, then you must make a call to SetLocation. Many of the functions used in this chapter produce results that are independent of your specific site location; however, a few functions will produce results that are dependent on your time zone.
This sets your location to Melbourne, Australia.
In:=SetLocation[GeoLongitude -> 145.0*Degree,
GeoLatitude -> -37.8*Degree,
GeoAltitude -> 0.0*KiloMeter,
TimeZone -> 11];