I think I have at least part of what you're looking for. I have a code
package that integrates the motion of N particles in a self-gravitating
system where the total mass is dominated by a single object. It uses
symplectic integration techniques in order to place an upper bound on
the energy error, but Gauss' method (with the famous f and g functions,
and their derivatives) is one of the options. I assume Gauss' method,
which generates a pure Keplerian orbit, with no interaction among the
objects, is what you're talking about.
My code may not be exactly what you're looking for. It sounds like you
want is a program that accepts as input three positions (RA and DEC,
with the time), and outputs the orbital elements or draws an orbit based
on those elements. My code accepts the elements as input (in a file)
and draws the orbit from those. So what I have may at least be the
second part of what you need.
The package is called VPNBody. See
Please contact me if I can be of any help getting you set up with what
you need, or developing new code. This is the kind of work I do
regularly, so I don't want to miss a good opportunity to collaborate!
Assistant Professor of Physics
> -----Original Message-----
> From: visualpython-users-admin@...
> admin@...] On Behalf Of Martin Mason
> Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 2:53 PM
> To: visualpython-users@...
> Subject: [Visualpython-users] modeling asteroid orbits
> Hi Folks,
> Has anyone done any work on computing asteroid orbits from
observational data either
> using either Laplace or Guassian techniques in vpython? This is
strictly for an educational
> setting. We currently use either Excel or IDL, but both have their
> visualization or steep learning curve.)
> Martin S. Mason
> Professor of Physics
> Mt. San Antonio College