Meeus: Astronomical Algorithms
by Jean Meeus is a comprehensive
collection of formulae and methods for calculating
- Positions and phenomena of the Sun and planets
- Positions and phases of the Moon
- Julian Day Numbers and other calendrical data
- Coordinate transformations
- Positions of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter
- And much more ...
The algorithms, whilst simple enough to understand and use, can provide
a good standard of accuracy for most users. For example:
- Planetary positions are based upon a truncated
version of Bretagnon and Francou's VSOP87 theory. The estimated maximum error
in the heliocentric longitude is several arc-seconds. Geocentric positions
are accurate to within a few arc-seconds.
- Lunar positions are calculated using a truncated version of
the lunar theory ELP-2000/82 of Chapront-Touzé and Chapront. The estimated
maximum error in the geocentric longitude is about 10 arc-seconds.
- Phases of the Moon are based upon the truncated lunar and
planetary theories. A comparison of the times of the four phases determined from
the full theories with those from the simplified algorithm during the interval
1980 to 2020 yields a mean error of 4 seconds, and a maximum error of 17
- Sunrise and sunset times are affected by atmospheric refraction
which cannot be modelled without local meteorological data. Times can be calculated
to within the nearest minute, which is all that is required in practice.
The book is published by
who are based in Richmond, Virginia.
The company's web site contains
full details of the second edition of the book, published in 1999.
Copyright 1995-2003 by David Harper and Lynne Marie Stockman
All Rights Reserved
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Last modified on 20 August 2003