Downloads and Updates Software Registration Contact Information Shopping Cart

by Bretagnon and Simon
with Foreword by Meeus,
8.50" by 11.00", 165 pages, softbound,
$19.95. (see below for magnetic versions)

Add to cart

The tables and computer programs detailed in Planetary
Programs and Tables From -4000 to +2800 allow the computation of the positions of the Sun, and 7 planets with a precision better than 0.01 degree over the period -4000, +2000 for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and +1600 to +2800 for Uranus and Neptune.

Until now, the astronomical tables covering large historic and prehistoric periods give the geocentric positions of the planets for equidistant dates. As an example, the tables of B. Tuckerman give the positions of the Sun and planets at 5-(Mercury, Venus) or 10-day (Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) intervals over the -600 to +1649. Coordinates are the longitude of the Sun, the geocentric longitudes and the geocentric latitudes of the planets. Such tables, over the entire period from -4000 to +2600 would include over 3,700,000 numbers and would constitute a 3,000 page book.

Instead, compact tables and simple computations of the Sun and planets on a small computer are described in this book. Time-dependent expansions of the longitude and radius vector of the Sun as well as the heliocentric coordinates of the planets are provided. These coordinates refer to the mean equinox and ecliptic of date.

For the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars each coordinate is represented in Planetary Programs and Tables From -4000 to +2800 by only by one formula provided for the entire period -4000 to +2600. This formula includes between 5 and 60 terms depending on the coordinate and planet.

For Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune the coordinates are expressed for time-spans of five years by power series with seven coefficients. The period -4000, +2600 is then constituted by 1320 time-spans of five years. In addition to the tables, formulae for corrections of aberration and nutation which allow you to compute apparent geocentric coordinates are provided.

           The accuracy of the geocentric longitudes for a date in Ephemeris time in degrees for each planet over various time spans as detailed in Planetary Programs and Tables from -4000 to +2800
Period
(years)
-4000
-2000
-2000
0
0
+1600
+1600
+2800
+2800
+8000
Sun 0.0009 0.0007 0.0006 0.0006 0.0009
Mercury 0.0038 0.0031 0.0027 0.0026 0.0038
Venus 0.0064 0.0042 0.0029 0.0025 0.0064
Mars 0.0104 0.0078 0.0063 0.0059 0.0104
Jupiter 0.0057 0.0033 0.0019 0.0015  
Saturn 0.0100 0.0049 0.0019 0.0010  
Uranus       0.0007  
Neptune       0.0006  

Here is what a leading Sky & Telescope magazine had to say about this work.

The program is the essence of simplicity. You select a planet, enter the date and time, and are quickly given the celestial longitude, latitude, right ascension and declination. Long-term accuracy is absolutely incredible --- the IBM version places Jupiter during Galileo's era within 4 arc seconds of the position given by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's DE-102 ephemeris.

". . . If you need the best available accuracy for historical purposes, this is undoubtedly the program to get."

 

Table of Contents

Foreword iii
Presentation of the tables vii
Introduction
I. Notations
II. Content of the tables
III. Tables for the motion of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars

     1. Representation of the coordinates of the Sun
     2. Representation of the coordinates of Mercury,
                Venus and Mars
     3. Description of the tables
IV. Tables for the motion of Jupiter and Saturn
     1. Representation of the coordinates
     2. Description of the tables
V. Tables for the motion of Uranus and Neptune
VI. Corrections for aberration and nutation

     1. Corrections for aberration
     2. Corrections for nutation
VII. Time scale
VIII. Expressions for the precession quantities
IX. Accuracy for geocentric positions computed from the tables
X. Computation of the geocentric positions

     1. Computation of the position of the Sun
     2. Computation of the positions of Mercury, Venus and Mars
     3. Computation of the positions of Jupiter, Saturn,
                Uranus and Neptune
XI. Fortran program Lonlat
     1. Description of the program Lonlat
     2. Use of the program Lonlat
XII. Basic Program
     1. Description of the program
     2. Use of Sumer
References
Annex 1. Positions for the Sun and Planets for five given dates
Annex 2. Calculation of the julian day number
Annex 3. Fortran program Lonlat
Annex 4. Basic program
Corrections for aberration and for nutation
Corrections for aberration
Corrections for nutation
Tables for the motion of the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars
Tables for the motion of the Sun
Tables for the motion of Mercury
Tables for the motion of Venus
Tables for the motion of Mars
Tables for the motion of Jupiter and Saturn
Tables for the motion of Uranus and Neptune

MAGNETIC VERSIONS OF "PLANETARY PROGRAMS"

Various software versions of this work are available to purchasers of the book. That is, while you can buy the book by itself, the software is only available to purchasers of the book. Each book contains a serial number to identify the purchaser should software be ordered after the book is purchased. However, you may purchase several versions of the software yet own only 1 copy of the book. All programs are not copy protected, but are copyrighted. We will replace defective CDROMs within 30 days of sale but will not make refunds. Ship wt., 8 Ozs.

BASIC Program with program listings and data files in ASCII format on CDROM $19.95

This program requires that you input the planet's name, date and time and the program returns the celestial longitude, latitude, right ascension and declination.

Add to cart

 

NEWCOMB MODULE, A Computer Simulation of Planetary Phenomena by Eagle with listing and compiled QuickBASIC program. CDROM, $39.95.

Add to cart

This add-on module includes the BASIC Program diskette (immediately above). This module provides: Transits of Mercury and Venus, Conjunction between two planets, Perihelion and aphelion of a planet, Greatest elongation of a planet, Closest approach between two planets, Meridian transit of a planet, Rise and set of a planet, Equinoxes and solstices of the Sun, and Occultation of a star by a planet.

This is how Sky & Telescope magazine reviewed the NEWCOMB module:

"The program is the essence of simplicity. You select a planet, enter the date and time, and are quickly given the celestial longitude, latitude, right ascension and declination. Long-term accuracy is absolutely incredible---the IBM version places Jupiter during Galileo's era within 4 arc seconds of the position given by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's DE-102 ephemeris. If you need the best available accuracy for historical purposes, this is undoubtedly the program to get."

PASCAL (Borland Pascal) with listing, compiled program, and data files on CDROM $26.00.

Add to cart

This program requires that you input the planet's name, date and time and the program returns the celestial longitude, latitude, right ascension and declination.

FORTRAN Program with program listings and data files in ASCII format on CDROM. Note: this is a main-frame FORTRAN intended to be up-loaded. Should you want to adapt to micro-computer use you will have to modify file handling procedures and other relevant items peculiar to your particular version of FORTRAN. $29.00.

Add to cart

This programs requires that you input the planet's name, date and time and the program returns the celestial longitude, latitude, right ascension and declination.

BRESIM: A program in "C" by Hinkley, on CDROM, $39.95

Add to cart

(Note this program is self- contained in that the data tables for the outer planets are included). BRESIM is based on the book Planetary Programs and Tables from -4000 to +2800 by Pierre Bretagnon and Jean- Louis Simon. The program calculates positions and related information for the Sun and the planets other than Pluto; and displays them in tabular form on the screen. The results may also be saved in a log file on disk. It does not produce graphic output.

The program runs on computers compatible with the IBM-PC under MS_DOS version 2 or later.

It is written in the C language and compiled with the Ecosoft C compiler version 3.11. You don't need a C compiler to run the program. However, the complete source code is included in case you wish to alter the program or just to examine how the calculations are made. If you have a C compiler other than Ecosoft, you will probably need to make some changes before your compiler will accept the source code. The disk is not copy protected.

In addition to Geocentric Apparent Longitude, Latitude, Right Ascension, and Declination the following are output: Heliocentric Longitude, Latitude, Distance, and X, Y, Z Rectangular coordinates. Planetocentric Mean Longitude, Latitude, Distance, Elongation, Visual Magnitude, Apparent Diameter, and Phase. Normally the user selects Earth as the origin point for these values; but the program allows any of the other 7 planets to be substituted as the origin. Mean Right Ascension and Declination adjusted to the equator and equinox of any specified epoch (e.g., Epoch 2000.0). Topocentric Apparent Right Ascension, Declination, Azimuth, Altitude, and approximate time of the body's Rise, Transit, and Set. These are all based on a specified local longitude and latitude. Information for all 9 bodies may be calculated and displayed on the screen at once. However, if information for some of the bodies isn't desired it may be disabled.

Rather than prompting the user each time for each required assumption upon which to base the calculation (e.g., year, month, day), 23 "input cells" are permanently displayed on the screen with their current values showing. This method has the advantage that only changed assumptions need to be re-entered. For example if you have just calculated positions for 1988/12/15, and now want to calculate for the same time the next day, only the day value need be entered.