JPL Horizons On-Line Ephemeris System

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JPL Horizons On-Line Ephemeris System provides easy access to key Solar System data and flexible production of highly accurate ephemerides for Solar System objects.

Osculating elements at a given epoch are always an approximation to an object's orbit (i.e. an unperturbed conic orbit or a "two-body" orbit). The real orbit (or the best approximation to such) considers perturbations by all planets, a few of the larger asteroids, a few other usually small physical forces, and requires numerical integration.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ephemerides do not use things such as periods, eccentricities, etc.[1] Instead, JPL integrates the equations of motion in Cartesian coordinates (x,y,z), and adjusts the initial conditions in order to fit modern, highly accurate measurements of planetary positions.[1]

As of August 2015, Horizons now uses ephemeris DE431.[2]


There are 3 ways to use the system:


  1. ^ a b Alan B. Chamberlin (2006-02-28). "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What's the exact value of..." JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
  2. ^ Jet Propulsion Laboratory (August 28, 2015). "HORIZONS User Manual". "Long term ephemeridies" section. Retrieved January 10, 2016.

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