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C library for the Swiss Ephemeris

libswe0 allows programs to access the Swiss Ephemeris. The SWISS EPHEMERIS is the high precision ephemeris developed by Astrodienst, largely based upon the DE406 ephemeris from NASA's JPL. The Swiss Ephemeris is based upon the latest planetary and lunar ephemeris, DE405/406, developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The original integration, DE405, covered the years 3000 BC to 3000 AD and required 550 Mb of disk space. DE406 is a compressed version of DE405 which requires 200 MB while maintaining a precision of better than 1 m for the moon and 25 m for the planets. These data have been further compressed with sophisticated compression techniques developed by Astrodienst. The ephemeris now requires for the complete 6000 years only 5 Mb for all planets except the Moon, and 13 Mb for the Moon. This compressed ephemeris reproduces the JPL data with 0.001 arcseconds precision. Astrodiest's have extended the timespan of the JPL ephemeris by numerical integration, so that Swiss Ephemeris covers the years 5400 BC to 5400 AD, a total of 10'800 years. For this extended timespan the ephemeris requires 32 Mbytes of ephemeris files. All transformation steps from the inertial timeframe of the JPL DE406 integration to the reference frame for astrological coordinates (true equinox of date), all corrections like relativistic aberration, deflection of light in the gravity field of the Sun etc. have been performed with utmost care and precision so that the target precision of 0.001 arcsec is maintained through all transformation steps. Never before has such a high precision ephemeris been available to astrologers. Swiss Ephemeris contains three ephemerides. The user can choose whether he/she wants to use the original JPL DE406 data (if available at his/her site), the compressed Swiss Ephemeris data (the default) or a built in semianalytic theory by Steve Moshier. The Swiss Ephemeris package switches automatically to the available best precision ephemeris dependent on which installed ephemeris files it finds. Even without any stored ephemeris files, using the Moshier model, planetary positions with better than 0.1 seconds of arc precision are available (3 arcsec for the Moon). In addition to the astronomical planets as contained in the JPL integration, Astrodienst's have included all other bodies and hypothetical factors which are of interest to the astrologer. Astrodienst have used Astrodienst's own numerical integration program to provide ephemerides for ALL known asteroids. There are over 55'000 of them and nobody will be able to use them all. Astrodienst distribute these extended asteroid files via Astrodienst's download area; there are also CDROMs available with large sets of asteroid files. Asteroid reaserachers may be interested in a December 1998 article in the Economist magazine about the naming of asteroids. Speed: The Swiss Ephemeris is precise and fast. On Astrodienst's Linux test machine, a 1000 MHz Pentium III, Astrodienst compute 10'000 complete sets of planetary positions, i.e. 10'000 x 11 planets, in 9 seconds. This is 0.9 milliseconds for the complete set of exact planetary positions (consecutive 1 day steps).
Package version:


libswe ( unstable; urgency=low

  * remove separate Build-Depends-Indep: line for unoconv
    This webpage
    says it is possible figure out how to build differently
    depending on if you need the indep stuff, but in practice
    it is too difficult to maintain. Human time is more expensive
    than comput



All the files comming from the original Swiss Ephemeris distribution
swe_unix_src_X.XX.XX.tar.gz are copyright Dieter Koch and Alois
Treindl and are licensed under the GPL version 2 or later as described
by the file src/LICENSE. References to the Swiss Ephemeris
Professional License, I ignore as I am a free software packager. I
rely on the GPL. All the other files, (mostly having to do with

Browse inside libswe0_1.77.00.0005-2_i386.deb

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