AstronomicalData

AstronomicalData["name", "property"]
gives the value of the specified property of the astronomical object with the specified name.

AstronomicalData["name", {"property", date}]
gives the value of a property at a particular date and time.

DetailsDetails

  • AstronomicalData includes data on planets, moons, stars, and galaxies, as well as other astronomical objects.
  • Astronomical objects can be specified by their standard names, such as , , , or by catalog designations such as and .
  • AstronomicalData["tag"] gives the standardized name for the astronomical object specified by .
  • AstronomicalData[] gives a list of all available objects.
  • AstronomicalData["Classes"] gives a list of available classes of objects.
  • AstronomicalData["Properties"] gives a list of all properties available for any class of object.
  • AstronomicalData[n, ...] gives properties of the n^(th) planet in the solar system.
  • AstronomicalData["class"] gives a list of objects in the specified class.
  • Major classes of solar system objects include:
  • "Comet"comet
    "MinorPlanet"minor planet (asteroid etc.)
    "Planet"solar system planet
    "PlanetaryMoon"natural planetary satellite
  • Major 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: , , , etc., , , , , , .
  • Classes based on catalogs include: , , , , , , .
  • 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: , , , .
  • Classes based on catalogs include: , , .
  • For , positional properties refer to the center of the galaxy.
  • 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 , , , .
  • Absolute 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
    "Position" position in heliocentric coordinates in meters
    "PositionLightYears" position in heliocentric coordinates 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.
  • Positions are given in FK5 heliocentric coordinates in the equinox of the date used.
  • For time-varying properties, the precision of results decreases away from the current time.
  • AstronomicalData["name", {"prop", date}] gives properties for a particular date and time in the current default time zone. The date can be specified in any format supported by DateList.
  • The option TimeZone->z specifies the time zone to assume for both input and output.
  • The default setting for TimeZone is $TimeZone.
  • The following properties give position information for objects in the sky at a particular location on the Earth:
  • "Altitude"altitude in the sky in degrees
    "Azimuth"azimuth in the sky in degrees
    "LastRiseTime"last time when the object rose
    "LastSetTime"last time when the object set
    "NextRiseTime"next time when the object will rise
    "NextSetTime"next time when the object will set
  • The default location on Earth to assume is given by the value of $GeoLocation.
  • Corrections for atmospheric refraction and light time delay are not included.
  • AstronomicalData["name", {"prop", date, {lat, long}}] specifies a location with particular latitude and longitude, given in degrees, with eastern longitudes positive.
  • Intrinsic mechanical properties include:
  • "Density"average density in
    "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
    "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 for solar system bodies
    "AbsoluteMagnitude"absolute visual magnitude 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
    "Inclination"inclination with respect to the ecliptic, in degrees
    "MeanMotion"average angular frequency of the object in its orbit in degrees per day
    "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
    "Speed"speed relative to the Sun in meters/second
  • Minor planets in addition support the following properties:
  • "EarthMOID"minimum orbital insertion distance from Earth
    "IAUName"official IAU name
    "IAUNumber"official IAU number
    "PerihelionTime"time of perihelion passage
    "ProvisionalDesignation"provisional designation
    "SMASSSpectralType"spectral type according to the SMASS survey
    "TholenSpectralType"spectral type according to the Tholen system
  • Comets in addition support the following properties:
  • "EarthMOID"minimum orbital insertion distance from Earth
    "IAUName"official IAU name
    "PerihelionTime"time of perihelion passage
    "PrimaryDesignation"primary designation
  • 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
    "ConstellationName"English name of the constellation for the star
    "Diameter"estimated stellar diameter
    "EffectiveTemperature"effective stellar surface temperature
    "Luminosity"luminosity of the star in watts
    "Mass"estimated stellar mass in kilograms
    "Parallax"parallax in seconds of arc
    "Radius"estimated stellar radius
    "SpectralClass"spectral class as a string (, , , ...)
    "SpectralClassList"spectral class list ()
  • Properties of relevance to deep-sky objects include:
  • "BlueBandMagnitude"brightness in the band
    "Constellation"official constellation in which the object is found
    "ConstellationName"English name of the constellation for the object
    "GalaxyType"basic galaxy type (, , ...)
    "GlobularClusterType"Shapley-Sawyer class for globular clusters
    "HubbleType"Hubble classification (, , ...)
    "RadialVelocity"radial velocity in
    "Redshift"redshift
    "SurfaceBrightness"surface brightness in magnitudes per square arcsecond
    "VisualBandMagnitude"brightness in the 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", , etc.
    "StandardName"Mathematica standard name
  • Catalog identifier properties include:
  • "BayerName"Bayer star designation
    "BayerStandardName"standardized Bayer star designation
    "DurchmusterungName"Durchmusterung survey designation
    "DurchmusterungStandardName"standardized Durchmusterung survey designation
    "FlamsteedName"Flamsteed catalog designation
    "FlamsteedStandardName"standardized Flamsteed catalog designation
    "GlieseName"Gliese catalog designation
    "GlieseStandardName"standardized 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
    "Epoch"epoch of orbital elements given in {year, month, day} format
    "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
    "Value"property value (default if no annotation is specified)

ExamplesExamplesopen allclose all

Basic Examples (8)Basic Examples (8)

A list of solar system planets:

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Make a graphic of solar system orbit paths:

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The known satellites of Neptune:

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The escape velocity of Neptune:

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The 10 nearest stars:

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Distances in light-years:

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Spectral class information:

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The first 15 Messier objects, in order of decreasing brightness:

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Distance to the Andromeda galaxy in light-years:

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Find astronomical objects whose names begin with Alb:

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Find the types of these objects:

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Find the last rise time for the Sun from your current location and time:

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Find the next rise time for the Sun from your current location and time:

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Find the next rise time for the Sun from date and location:

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