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Heliospheric Coordinate Systems


Astronomy Unit, Queen Mary, University of London, London, E1 4NS 1

D. Harper

The Sanger Centre, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambs CB10 1SA

Corrected Version of
Planetary&Space Science, 50, 217ff.(2002)
March 13, 2017


This article gives an overview and reference to the most common coordinate systems currently used in space science. While coordinate systems used in near-Earth space physics have been described in previous work we extend that description to systems used for physical observations of the Sun and the planets and to systems based on spacecraft location. For all systems we define the corresponding transformation in terms of Eulerian rotation matrices. We also give first order Keplerian elements for planetary orbits and determine their precision for the period 1950-2050 and describe methods to improve that precision. We also determine the Keplerian orbital elements for most major interplanetary missions and discuss their precision. We also give reference to a large set of web-sources relevant to the subject.
Discipline: b. Celestial Mechanics.

Markus Fraenz 2017-03-13