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AstronomicalData

AstronomicalData["name", "property"]
gives the value of the specified property of the astronomical object with the specified name.
  • AstronomicalData includes data on planets, moons, stars, galaxies as well as other astronomical objects.
  • Astronomical objects can be specified by their standard names such as "Jupiter", "Sun", "Sirius", or by catalog designations as "M42" and "NGC1704".
  • AstronomicalData["tag"] gives the standardized name for the astronomical object specified by "tag".
  • AstronomicalData["Properties"] gives a list of all properties available for any class of object.
  • Possible classes for solar system objects include:
"PlanetaryMoon"natural planetary satellite
"Planet"solar system planet (including Pluto)
  • Possible classes for stars include:
"NakedEyeStar"stars with apparent magnitude below 6.5
"Star"all available stars
"StarBrightest10"star that is among the 10 visually brightest from Earth
"StarBrightest100"star that is among the 100 visually brightest from Earth
"StarNearest10"star that is among the 10 nearest to Earth
"StarNearest100"star that is among the 100 nearest to Earth
  • Additional classes for stars include: "MainSequenceStar", "ClassOStar", "ClassAStar", etc., "WhiteDwarf", "Subdwarf", "NormalGiant", "BrightGiant", "Supergiant", "WolfRayetStar".
  • Classes based on catalogs include: "BayerObject", "FlamsteedObject", "GlieseObject", "HDObject", "HipparcosObject", "HRObject", "SAOObject".
  • Possible classes for deep-sky objects include:
"BrightHIIRegion"bright HII region
"DeepSkyObject"deep-sky object
"Galaxy"galaxy
"GlobularCluster"globular star cluster
"Nebula"nebula
"OpenCluster"open star cluster
"PlanetaryNebula"planetary nebula
  • Additional classes for galaxies include: "SpiralGalaxy", "EllipticalGalaxy", "BarredSpiralGalaxy", "IrregularGalaxy".
  • Classes based on catalogs include: "MessierObject", "ICObject", "NGCObject".
  • AstronomicalData[name, "class"] gives True or False depending on whether the object corresponding to name is in the specified class.
  • AstronomicalData[name, "Classes"] gives a list of the classes in which the object corresponding to name appears.
  • AstronomicalData[name, "ObjectType"] gives the basic type of object corresponding to name, including "Planet", "PlanetaryMoon", "Star", "Galaxy".
  • Location and coordinate properties supported for all objects include:
"Declination"current declination in degrees
"Distance"current distance from Earth in meters
"DistanceLightYears"current distance from Earth in light-years
"RightAscension"current right ascension in hours
  • All quantities are specified in SI units, except as noted otherwise.
  • Some properties are available only for solar system objects.
  • Intrinsic mechanical properties include:
"Density"average density in kg/m^3
"Diameter"maximum diameter in meters
"EquatorialDiameter"equatorial diameter in meters
"EquatorialRadius"equatorial radius in meters
"EscapeVelocity"escape velocity in meters per second
"Gravity"equatorial acceleration due to gravity in m/s^2
"Mass"mass in kilograms
"PolarDiameter"polar diameter in meters
"PolarRadius"polar radius in meters
"Radius"maximum radius in meters
  • Shape and rotational properties include:
"RotationPeriod"intrinsic rotation period in seconds
"Oblateness"relative difference between equatorial and polar radius
"Obliquity"tilt of rotation axis with respect to orbital plane in degrees
  • Optical and other electromagnetic properties include:
"AbsoluteMagnitudeH"absolute visual magnitude H for solar system bodies
"AbsoluteMagnitude"absolute visual magnitude M for extrasolar objects
"Albedo"ratio of returned to incident intensity
"ApparentMagnitude"apparent magnitude as viewed from Earth
  • Positional and orbital properties for solar system objects include:
"Apoapsis"furthest distance from orbital center in meters
"AscendingNodeLongitude"longitude angle of the ascending orbit node in degrees
"Eccentricity"orbital eccentricity e
"Inclination"inclination i with respect to the ecliptic, in degrees
"OrbitCenter"object around which the object orbits
"OrbitPath"graphics primitives representing a typical orbit
"OrbitPeriod"time in seconds for a complete orbit
"OrbitPeriodYears"time in years for a complete orbit
"OrbitRules"list of rules giving orbital elements
"Periapsis"closest approach to orbital center in meters
"PeriapsisArgument"angle in degrees from ascending node to pericenter
"PeriapsisLongitude"longitude angle of periapsis for zero inclination
"Satellites"known natural satellites of the object
"SemimajorAxis"orbital semimajor axis length in meters
  • Orbital elements are intended as averages for the current epoch, but may be based only on particular observations.
  • Properties of relevance to stars include:
"BVColorIndex"B-V color index
"Constellation"official constellation in which the star is found
"Parallax"parallax in seconds of arc
"SpectralClass"spectral class as a string ("G2V", "O", "M2Ib", ...)
"SpectralClassList"spectral class list ( {"G", 2, 5})
  • Properties of relevance to deep-sky objects include:
"BlueBandMagnitude"brightness in the B band
"Constellation"official constellation in which the object is found
"GalaxyType"basic galaxy type ("Spiral", "Irregular", ...)
"GlobularClusterType"Shapley-Sawyer class for globular clusters
"HubbleType"Hubble classification ("E0", "Sb", ...)
"RadialVelocity"radial velocity in m/s
"Redshift"redshift z
"SurfaceBrightness"surface brightness in magnitudes per square arcsecond
"VisualBandMagnitude"brightness in the V band
  • Name and type properties include:
"AlphanumericName"name in alphanumeric form
"AlternateNames"alternate English names, as strings
"AlternateStandardNames"alternate standard Mathematica names
"Name"common name (including Greek letters if necessary)
"ObjectType""Star", "Planet", etc.
"StandardName"Mathematica standard name
  • Catalog identifier properties include:
"BayerName"Bayer star designation
"FlamsteedName"Flamsteed catalog designation
"GlieseName"Gliese catalog designation
"HDName"Henry Draper Memorial catalog name
"HDNumber"Henry Draper Memorial catalog number
"HipparcosName"Hipparcos catalog name
"HipparcosNumber"Hipparcos catalog number
"HRName"Harvard Revised catalog name
"HRNumber"Harvard Revised catalog number
"ICNumber"IC catalog number
"NGCNumber"NGC catalog number
"PGCNumber"Principal Galaxy Catalog number
"SAOName"Smithsonian catalog name
"SAONumber"Smithsonian catalog number
  • Additional properties include:
"Image"picture of the astronomical object
"DiscoveryYear"year in which the object was discovered
  • AstronomicalData["name", "property", "ann"] gives various annotations associated with a property. Typical annotations include:
"Description"short textual description of the property
"LongDescription"longer textual description of the property
"Note"additional information about the property
"Units"units in which the value is given
"UnitsName"English name for the units used
"UnitsNotation"notation for the units used
"UnitsStandardName"Mathematica standard name for the units used
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