libnova  0.15.0
About: libnova is a general purpose, double precision, celestial mechanics and astronomical calculation library.
  Fossies Dox: libnova-0.15.0.tar.gz  ("inofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  


Celestial Mechanics, Astrometry and Astrodynamics Library


libnova is a general purpose, double precision, Celestial Mechanics, Astrometry and Astrodynamics library.

The intended audience of libnova is C / C++ programmers, astronomers and anyone else interested in calculating positions of astronomical objects or celestial mechanics. libnova is the calculation engine used by the Nova project and most importantly, is free software.


The current version of libnova can calculate:

  • Aberration
  • Nutation
  • Apparent Position
  • Dynamical Time
  • Julian Day
  • Precession
  • Proper Motion
  • Sidereal Time
  • Solar Coordinates (using VSOP87)
  • Coordinate Transformations
  • Planetary Positions Mercury - Pluto (Mercury - Neptune using VSOP87)
  • Planetary Magnitude, illuminated disk and phase angle.
  • Lunar Position (using ELP82), phase angle.
  • Elliptic Motion of bodies (Asteroid + Comet positional and orbit data)
  • Asteroid + Comet magnitudes
  • Parabolic Motion of bodies (Comet positional data)
  • Orbit velocities and lengths
  • Atmospheric refraction
  • Rise, Set and Transit times.
  • Semidiameters of the Sun, Moon, Planets and asteroids.
  • Angular separation of bodies
  • Hyperbolic motion of bodies
  • Heliocentric (barycentric) time correction


API documentation for libnova is included in the source. It can also be found in this website and an offline tarball is available here.


The latest released version of libnova is 0.13.0 It is available for download here.


The latest CVS version of libnova is available via CVS here.


libnova is released under the GNU LGPL.


If you are interested in helping in the future development of libnova, then please get in touch. Currently, we are needing help in the folowing areas.

  • Documentation. (Not just API reference, but also astronomy info for novice users)
  • Programming (in C) astronomical solutions or algorithms.
  • Algorithms and Solutions.


libnova is maintained by Liam Girdwood and Petr Kubanek.


Thanks to Jean Meeus for most of the algorithms used in this library. From his book "Astronomical Algorithms".

Thanks to Michelle Chapront-Touze and Jean Chapront for publishing the Lunar Solution ELP 2000-82B.

Thanks to Messrs. Bretagnon and Francou for publishing planetary solution VSOP87.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted patches. NOTE: I sufferend a disk failure this year and lost a windows patch. I would be grateful if the author could resubmit it.

Also thanks to Sourceforge for hosting this project. SourceForge Logo