Accuracy of planetary satellite positions

  • Rolf

    Rolf - 2005-12-04

    Yesterday I installed Stellarium 0.7.1. I'm really impressed by the outstanding rendering quality which is much better than in any other planetarium program I have seen! I really like the program, but ...

    When I zoomed in on Mars and Saturn, I saw them surrounded by their moons. Just curious about their positional accuracy, I compared the views with the ones as given by Guide 8.0 for the same date and time. They turned out to be very different! Also, the central meridian of Mars seemed to be completely different. From my telescopic observations, I know that Guide gives high-precision positions.

    My question: Is this normal, or did I screw up the installation? Is the presentation of the planets and their moons not meant to match the actual pattern as seen in a telescope? Perhaps it is just meant to give a general idea of those objects?


    • Rolf

      Rolf - 2005-12-05

      Thanks for the explanations. Did you ever consider re-using the ephemeris software from Project Pluto? As far as I know, it is also written in C++. This would probably save MUCH work.

      I think the combination of the great visual appearance of Stellarium with the accuracy of GUIDE would be just great!


    • Rob Spearman

      Rob Spearman - 2005-12-04

      The Galilean moons are fairly accurate.

      None of the other moons are.

      This should be added to the FAQ.

      • Fabien Chéreau

        Fabien Chéreau - 2005-12-05

        We have received a patch which provide correct moon position for saturn.
        I will try to add it tonight.


      • Johan Meuris

        Johan Meuris - 2005-12-05

        Note about Galilean moons added to the FAQ.



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