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… for ephemerides. The location had to fit in less than nine bytes. Also, if no location was specified, you could easily get an out-of-bounds array access.

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Orbit determination from observations

More about Find_Orb (what it does, how to use it, pre-built Windows executables) at

This project includes code for building Linux, Windows, and BSD (and possibly OS/X) versions of the interactive Find_Orb orbit determination software, the non-interactive fo software, and the fo_serve.cgi program that underlies the on-line Find_Orb service. (For a lot of purposes, the on-line service or pre-built .EXEs may be all you really need.)

Right now, only the Linux and BSD versions can be built with what's posted here. (You can probably build for OS/X, too, but I've not heard any reports on that recently.) I've not gotten around to documenting the Windows build process yet; I just provide the aforementioned pre-built EXEs. Sadly, the Windows builds require the Microsoft compiler, due to an unfortunate early choice to use MFC.

You can click here for directions on building Find_Orb from the source in this repository..

As is described at the above link, this project depends on three of my other projects :

  • jpl_eph (code to read JPL ephemerides)
  • sat_code (code for Earth-orbiting satellite ephemerides)
  • lunar (basic astronomical ephemeris/time functions)

At some point, I'll probably document the build procedure for Windows, but it does appear that most Windows users just want pre-built executables.