Sun Position

Geocentric equatorial position of the Sun (in [m]), referred to the ICRF


Updated Sun, 04 Dec 2022 11:59:43 +0000

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Since the force exerted by the Sun is much smaller than the central attraction of the Earth, it is not necessary to know its coordinates to the highest precision when calculating the perturbing acceleration acting on a satellite. For many purposes it is even sufficient to use simple equations for the solar coordinates that are accurate to about 0.1-1% and follow from more advanced analytical theories for the motion of the Sun (see e.g. van Flandern & Pulkkinen 1979, Montenbruck 1989, Montenbruck & Pfleger 2000 for further references).
Three different approaches are used in the test_SunPosition.m program for the computation of solar coordinates; NASA JPL Developement Ephemerides (DE440), high-precision analytical series (Brown's theory), and low-precision analytical series.
1. Montenbruck O., Gill E.; Satellite Orbits: Models, Methods and Applications; Springer Verlag, Heidelberg; Corrected 3rd Printing (2005).
2. Montenbruck O., Pfleger T.; Astronomy on the Personal Computer; Springer Verlag, Heidelberg; 4th edition (2000).
3. Vallado D. A; Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications; McGraw-Hill; New York; 4th edition (2013).
4. van Flandern T. C., Pulkkinen K. F.; Low precision formulae for planetary positions; Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 41, 391 (1979).

Cite As

Meysam Mahooti (2023). Sun Position (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2021b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
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Version Published Release Notes

JPL Developement Ephemerides DE436 was replaced by DE440, and Mjday.m was modified.

The DE436 full matrix is added.

Mjday_TDB.m is updated.

JPL Developement Ephemerides (DE405) is replaced by DE436.

Description is updated.