XEphem project is a scientific-grade interactive astronomical ephemeris package.
Here are some key features of "XEphem":
· computes heliocentric, geocentric and topocentric information for all objects;
· has built-in support for all planets; the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Earth; central meridian longitude of Mars and Jupiter; Saturn's rings; and Jupiter's Great Red Spot;
· allows user-defined objects including stars, deepsky objects, asteroids, comets and Earth satellites.
· provides special efficient handling of large catalogs including Tycho, Hipparcos, GSC.
· displays data in configurable tabular formats in conjunction with several interactive graphical views;
· displays a night-at-a-glance 24 hour graphic showing when any selected objects are up;
· displays 3-D stereo Solar System views that are particularly well suited for visualizing comet trajectories;
· quickly finds all close pairs of objects in the sky;
· sorts and prints all catalogs with very flexible criteria for creating custom observing lists;
· creates plots of any pairs of all data fields throughout the program;
· downloads and displays AAVSO light curves directly online;
· downloads current asteroid and comets ephemerides from Lowell Observatory and Minor Planet Center;
· downloads timely Earth satellite orbital TLE parameters;
· plots true binary system orbits;
· downloads Digitized Sky Survey FITS files from STScI or ESO;
· displays seti@home client progress and plots position being processed on Sky View map;
· provides a handy coordinates spreadsheet for converting among equatorial, ecliptic, horizon and galactic frames ;
· displays live SOHO images of the Sun;
· includes a compiler for entering and solving user-written functions using any data fields;
· serves as the control point for GOTO telescopes such as Meade LX200 or other external applications;
· displays FITS files images overlaid with database symbols and other graphical information;
· performs automatic star pattern matching to automatically solve for World Coordinate System on any image;
· performs 1-click 2D Gaussian relative and absolute photometry;
· defines and saves any number of Eyepieces to use in sky maps;
· captures, displays and clips to any number of local horizon profiles;
· stores sets of all Sky View options in history sets for easy playback later;
· prints using high quality Postscript;
· allows you to assign any number of objects as Favorites for special fast access throughout the program, and makes them available even when their original databases are no longer loaded;
· provides an extensible image gallery initialized with over 300 beautiful and informative color images of deep sky objects;
· provides an observing logbook which is automatically filled in with observing circumstances, with searching on most fields;
· displays magnetic deviation for any location.