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Solar System Bodies

Solar system bodies are divided into the following groups:

Comets and asteroids are also referred to as "small-bodies" on this site. The current number of known bodies with reasonably secure orbits in each group is shown on a separate page.

Available Data

Data for each group of bodies is represented slightly differently, but in general, the following are available for all bodies: ephemerides, orbital elements, and discovery data (see the subsections below). Additional data may be available only for a specific body group, for example, orbit diagrams are available only for planets, asteroids, and comets. The exception is meteor streams for which there is only limited data.

Ephemerides

High precision custom ephemerides are available via our HORIZONS system. See the separate detailed page describing available ephemerides.

Orbital Elements

In general, orbital elements should not be used to compute ephemerides. This is particularly true for planetary satellites. Use the ephemeris section links above if you need ephemerides.

Orbit Diagrams

Orbit diagrams are available for the planets, comets, and asteroids.

Discovery Data

Discovery circumstances are available for most planetary satellites, select comets, and numbered asteroids. These data include the discovery date, location of discovery, and one or more names credited with the discovery.

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