News and announcements

PyEphem 3.7.3.4 introduces satellite rising and setting

Written for PyEphem by Brandon Rhodes on 2009-05-01

Finally, the feature so many users have requested: PyEphem can now determine when an Earth satellite will rise, culminate, and set. The standard rising and setting routines now politely refuse to handle satellites, since they are likely to produce wrong answers, and a new next_pass() routine is available on Observer objects that determines when a given satellite will next cross the sky.

Also, a new function is available to automatically adjust atmospheric pressure depending on the altitude of an Observer, producing more accurate refraction near the horizon. Read the changelog for more information, and download 3.7.3.4 now!

Updated on 2009-05-01.

PyEphem available for Python 3.0!

Written for PyEphem by Brandon Rhodes on 2008-12-13

The new 3.0 version of Python was released ten days ago, and we have followed it with a special release of PyEphem ported to work correctly under the new programming language! From now on, new features will be added to both versions, so that the same astronomy routines are available regardless of which version of the language you choose to use. The new version is being distributed from the Python Package Index here:

http://pypi.python.org/pypi/ephem/

Enjoy!

PyEphem releases 3.7.3.3

Written for PyEphem by Brandon Rhodes on 2008-10-04

A new version of PyEphem is available, that includes not only a bugfix, but a small feature addition. The fixed bug is that the tilt of Saturn's rings is now computed correctly; before, the values being returned by Saturn "earth_tilt" and "sun_tilt" were unfortunately not correct. The new feature is that Jupiter has "central meridian longitude" attributes now, both for System I and System II, so that those interested in the Great Red Spot and other cloud features can determine what part of Jupiter is pointed towards us; see the Quick Reference section on Jupiter for details.

PyEphem releases 3.7.3.2

Written for PyEphem by Brandon Rhodes on 2008-07-02

Following our important bugfix release yesterday, that prevents the rising and setting functions from hanging, a user reported that the improved code now failed in a new situation: when the same rising or setting function was called repeatedly to compute successive risings or settings, it often got stuck returning the same one over and over again. Thus, another new version of PyEphem is now available, version 3.7.3.2, in which both of these problems are corrected.

And of course, since "untested code is broken code" as Martin Aspeli and Philipp von Weitershausen have taught us, both of these recent failures are covered by new PyEphem test cases — which will prevent them from ever recurring, at least in their current form!

Updated on 2008-07-02.

PyEphem releases 3.7.3.1

Written for PyEphem by Brandon Rhodes on 2008-07-02

I have just released version 3.7.3.1 of PyEphem, which fixes the problem that some users were reporting in which the functions to find the previous rising or next setting of a body were hanging instead of ever returning an answer. The problem was that my Newton's Method function was insisting on too precise an answer; now, by returning when it gets within a half-second of the solution, it should avoid getting stuck on tiny irregularities in the smoothness of the planetary position functions.

Updated on 2008-07-02.

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