AstroVizier is a software tool that allows the operator to gather important information about the bodies of the solar system. The heart of the program is its ability to calculate a very detailed physical ephemeris for the following objects: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
This is the Windows version of AstroVizier and this is a vast improvement over the old DOS version that was given very favorable reviews in Astronomy April 1996 and Sky & Telescope June 1996.
Surface of the planetary body is shown for Mercury (data based on Mariner 10 and only 50% of the planet has been mapped), Venus (100% mapped), Mars (100%), Moon (100%), Pluto (100% fictional map based on albedo variations). These maps are based on information from NASA, USGS, JPL, and others.
Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune have grid maps. This indicates that lines of longitude and latitude are given but no cloud features are shown since these are variable and change unpredictably. Different systems of rotation are given. For example, System I, II, III will be shown for Jupiter. System I and III for Saturn.
Flying point available that operator can move around to obtain the longitude and latitude of a particular point for all bodies.
Phase, tilt of the planet as seen from earth, central meridian and central latitude of where the earth would appear overhead on the body is shown.
Central meridian and central latitude of where the sun would be overhead on the body is shown when appropriate.
Additional information includes midpoint of the illuminated limb, elongation from the sun, amount of phase, diameter in seconds of arc, defect of illumination, magnitude of the body, phase angle, right ascension and declination of the North pole of the body.
The heliocentric as well as the geocentric coordinates of the body can be ascertained. The amount of error in these coordinates is also given.
The Flying point for the Moon will also compute the altitude of the sun above the lunar horizon for that particular point.
The Moon can be displayed either in Geocentric or Topocentric mode. This allows the operator to see the subtle shifts in perspective that the Moon will display at a location of your choice.
Other amenities include:
The ability to calculate the rise, set, and transit times for any given body. Altitude at the site can be incorporated into this calculation.
When the next greatest elongation of Mercury and Venus occurs.
When the next inferior or superior conjunction of Mercury and Venus occurs.
When the next opposition or conjunction of Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn occurs.
The next cycle of lunar phases from a given date,
The extremes of perigee and apogee of the Moon near a given date.
The ability to calculate the general circumstances of a solar or lunar eclipse. No track maps are produced.
For a particular year the times of equinoxes and solstices can be calculated.
The time of Easter can be calculated for a particular year.
All information can be saved and/or printed in a text format.
Images cannot be saved. However; other software like Paint Shop can save and print screens of AstroVizier.
Most calculations can be made from approximately 4000 BC to 10,000 AD.
A snap shot of Mars screen
Green dot shows where the sun is overhead. The two blue dots show the flying point and where the earth is overhead. The dashed white lines show the possible maximum extent of the Martian Polar caps.
A snap shot of Jupiter screen
Yellow dot is where the sun is overhead. Red dots show the flying point and where the earth is overhead. Main belts and zones are shown in schematic form.
Blue dots show the position of the flying point and the earth's position overhead. Red dot shows the overhead position of the sun. Notice the shadow is portrayed on Saturn's rings.
Red dots show the position of the earth and the flying point. The position of the overhead sun is not shown since it is not on the visible side at this moment. Notice that the flying point tells you the sun's altitude above the lunar horizon is 21.2 degrees for this particular location at this particular moment.
Main dialog for AstroVizier showing some information for Mars