The package libTheSky provides a Fortran library to compute the positions of celestial bodies (Sun, Moon, planets, stars, asteroids, comets)
and events (e.g. lunar phases) with great accuracy. libTheSky can use different reference frames (heliocentric, geocentric, topocentric) and coordinate systems
(ecliptic, equatorial, galactic; spherical, rectangular). Much of the code is based on Meeus, Astronomical Algorithms, 1998;
however, the user has the choice between his low-accuracy, cheap calculations for Sun and Moon,
and the full and highly accurate VSOP87 and ELP 2000-82B theories.
This package, together with libSUFR,
has been developed for and forms the core of the software that is used to create the Flemish/Dutch popular-astronomy website
hemel.waarnemen.com (see screenshots on this page).
Example use of libTheSky can be found in the astroTools package.
It can be used under the conditions of version 3 of the GPL.
libTheSky has been written by AstroFloyd.
libTheSky is written in Fortran and compiles with
g95 (both free and open-source) and
In order to compile and run, the package needs the Fortran library
The default installer uses
CMake, but you can use
your own Makefile or compile and install the code by hand.
The code needs data files as input for the calculations (planetary and lunar theory, orbital elements, star databases, etc.).
The file asteroids.dat only a reduced version of the large original file.
The reduced version contains the brightest ~20% of the minor planets from the full database (a<100 AU, H<15; ~85,000 bodies).
The complete file can be downloaded from the NASA JPL website.
The data files can be found in
Please see the INSTALL file in the regular libTheSky tarball for details.
Getting started with libTheSky:
Before you install libTheSky, you should install libSUFR.
Using the links below you can download and install libTheSky. The Doxygen documentation provides technical information
on the syntax of the procedures in the library. Example use of libTheSky can be found in the
astroTools, in particular in the planetdata program.
Hence, I suggest you download and install that package as well.
If you like libTheSky, you may also be interested in the following FOSS packages:
|astroTools || command-line tools for astronomy and astrophysics |
|evTools || tools to manipulate and display output from the binary stellar-evolution code ev/STARS/TWIN |
|GWtool || a set of simple command-line tools for working with gravitational waves |
|libSUFR || A LIBrary containing Some Useful Fortran Routines |
|RochePlot || schematically plot the key stages in the evolution of a binary star |
libTheSky is available in the following Linux distributions:
libTheSky has been used by:
You can contact AstroFloyd through
(produced by codes using libTheSky)