XEphem: Interactive Astronomical Ephemeris
Abstract: XEphem is a scientific-grade interactive astronomical ephemeris package for UNIX-like systems. Written in C, X11 and Motif, it is easily ported to systems. Among other things, XEphem:
- computes heliocentric, geocentric and topocentric information for all objects;
- has built-in support for all planets; the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Earth; central meridian longitude of Mars and Jupiter; Saturn's rings; and Jupiter's Great Red Spot;
- allows user-defined objects including stars, deepsky objects, asteroids, comets and Earth satellites;
- provides special efficient handling of large catalogs including Tycho, Hipparcos, GSC;
- displays data in configurable tabular formats in conjunction with several interactive graphical views;
- displays a night-at-a-glance 24 hour graphic showing when any selected objects are up;
- displays 3-D stereo Solar System views that are particularly well suited for visualizing comet trajectories;
- quickly finds all close pairs of objects in the sky; and
- sorts and prints all catalogs with very flexible criteria for creating custom observing lists.
Its capabilities are listed more fully in the user manual introduction.
Credit: Elwood Charles Downey