JPL DE405 ephemeris needed by the NOVAS package

pip install novas_de405==1997.1


Welcome to NOVAS Py

What is NOVAS?

NOVAS is an integrated package of functions for computing various
commonly needed quantities in positional astronomy.  The package can
supply, in one or two function calls, the instantaneous coordinates of
any star or solar system body in a variety of coordinate systems.  At a
lower level, NOVAS also provides astrometric utility transformations,
such as those for precession_, nutation_, aberration_, parallax_, and
gravitational `deflection of light`_.  The computations are accurate to
better than one milliarcsecond. The NOVAS library is an easy-to-use
facility that can be incorporated into data reduction programs,
telescope control systems, and simulations.  The U.S. parts of
*The Astronomical Almanac* are prepared using NOVAS.

What is NOVAS Py?

With NOVAS Py, the USNO is expanding NOVAS to the Python programming
language. The NOVAS Py module is a wrapper around the NOVAS C code; all
computations are performed by the C code.


The NOVAS Py Module

The NOVAS Py module is installed from the top-level source directory
with the command ``python install``.  If there are multiple
versions of Python installed, the NOVAS Py package will be installed for
the version used to run the ```` script.  Note that you may need
superuser or administrator privileges to install the package.


NOVAS requires access to a high-accuracy solar system ephemeris in order
to compute places of solar system bodies and the highest-accuracy star
places. Groups in the U.S., France, and Russia now construct
high-accuracy solar system ephemerides. NOVAS uses the "developmental
ephemerides," designated as "DEnnn", which are produced by JPL in the
U.S. NOVAS C provides an implementation of JPL's ephemeris-access
software that enables reading and interpolating a binary, direct-access
ephemeris file.

The command ``python build_ephemeris`` will automatically build
a default DE405 binary ephemeris file and place it in your current
directory. If you wish to have the setup script place the ephemeris file
in a directory other than your current directory, for instance where you
wish to more permanently keep the ephemeris file, use the
``--ephemeris-dir`` option with the path to the other directory.  This
automatic ephemeris build process requires an internet connection and
may take some time due to the program downloading multiple files, each
several megabytes in size, from JPL's ftp site. This step is optional;
users who wish to provide their own ephemeris file may skip the
``build_ephemeris`` command.

Before using any NOVAS functionality that requires access to the
ephemerides, you must first open the file with the ``ephem_open``
function (``from novas.compat.eph_manager import ephem_open``). You must
either pass ``ephem_open`` the path to the binary ephemeris file you
wish to use or have the path set in an environment variable named
``EPHEMERIS_FILE``. If you choose to do the latter, you may then call
``ephem_open`` without passing any arguments to the function.

Consult the NOVAS C User Guide if you wish to use the manual method for
creating the binary ephemeris file.

Package Layout
Phase one of NOVAS Py is intented to feel like NOVAS C. For the most
part, function calls in Python match the function calls in C. All
results are returned from the function. Some function inputs have been
reordered so that the function can support optional inputs.

NOVAS functions can be found under the ``novas.compat`` namespace.
Functions from ``eph_manager.c``, ``solsys1.c``, and ``nutation.c`` can
be found under ``novas.compat.eph_manager``, ``novas.compat.solsys``,
and ``novas.compat.nutation``, respectively.

Some tests are available in the ``tests`` source directory; they are
designed to work with Python >= 2.7. To run the tests with Python 2.5 or
2.6, first install the `unittest2 module`_

Using NOVAS Py
Once installation is complete, the NOVAS functions can be found under
the ``novas.compat`` namespace. Nutation models can be found under
``novas.nutation``, and constants under ``novas.constants``.

.. _precession:
.. _nutation:
.. _aberration:
.. _parallax:
.. _deflection of light:
.. _webpage:
.. _unittest2 module: