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Calculations for the position of the sun and moon.

Project description

Welcome to Astral V0.5

Astral is a python module for calculating the times of various aspects of the sun and moon.

It calculates the following

The time in the morning when the sun is a specific number of degrees below the horizon.
The time in the morning when the top of the sun breaks the horizon (asuming a location with no obscuring features.)
Solar Noon
The time when the sun is at its highest point.
The time in the evening when the sun is about to disappear below the horizon (asuming a location with no obscuring features.)
The time in the evening when the sun is a specific number of degrees below the horizon.
Solar Azimuth
The number of degrees clockwise from North at which the sun can be seen
Solar Elevation
The number of degrees up from the horizon at which the sun can be seen
“Rahukaalam or the period of Rahu is a certain amount of time every day that is considered inauspicious for any new venture according to Indian astrology”.
Moon Phase
Calculates the phase of the moon for a specified date.


The following example demonstrates the functionality available in the module

>>> import datetime
>>> from astral import Astral

>>> city_name = 'London'

>>> a = Astral()
>>> a.solar_depression = 'civil'

>>> city = a[city_name]

>>> print('Information for %s/%s\n' % (city_name,
Information for London/England

>>> timezone = city.timezone
>>> print('Timezone: %s' % timezone)
Timezone: Europe/London

>>> print('Latitude: %.02f; Longitude: %.02f\n' % \
>>>     (city.latitude, city.longitude))
Latitude: 51.60; Longitude: 0.08

>>> sun = city.sun(, 4, 22), local=True)
>>> print('Dawn:    %s' % str(sun['dawn']))
>>> print('Sunrise: %s' % str(sun['sunrise']))
>>> print('Noon:    %s' % str(sun['noon']))
>>> print('Sunset:  %s' % str(sun['sunset']))
>>> print('Dusk:    %s' % str(sun['dusk']))
Dawn:     2009-04-22 05:12:56+01:00
Sunrise:  2009-04-22 05:49:36+01:00
Noon:     2009-04-22 12:58:48+01:00
Sunset:   2009-04-22 20:09:07+01:00
Dusk:     2009-04-22 20:45:52+01:00

Access to the database of cities can be made through the Astral class:

>>> a = Astral()
>>> db = a.citydb
>>> london = db['London']

Timezone groups such as Europe can be accessed via attributes on the database:

>>> a = Astral()
>>> db = a.citydb
>>> europe = db.europe.cities
>>> europe.sort()
>>> europe
['Aberdeen', 'Amsterdam', 'Andorra la Vella', 'Ankara', 'Athens', ...


This module is licensed under the terms of the Apache V2.0 license.


Astral has one external dependency on ‘pytz’ which can either be obtained from Sourceforge page or via the easy_install method, whichever is your particular poison.


When you’ve added the pytz package to install astral unzip the archive to a handy location and execute the standard Python installation method:

python install


The module includes location and time zone data for the following cities. The list includes all capital cities plus some from the UK. The list also includes the US state capitals and some other US cities.

Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Adelaide, Al Jubail, Algiers, Amman, Amsterdam, Andorra la Vella, Ankara, Antananarivo, Apia, Ashgabat, Asmara, Astana, Asuncion, Athens, Baghdad, Baku, Bamako, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Bangui, Banjul, Basse-Terre, Basseterre, Beijing, Beirut, Belgrade, Belmopan, Berlin, Bern, Birmingham, Bishkek, Bissau, Bloemfontein, Bogota, Bolton, Bradford, Brasilia, Bratislava, Brazzaville, Bridgetown, Brisbane, Bristol, Brussels, Bucharest, Bucuresti, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Bujumbura, Cairo, Canberra, Cape Town, Caracas, Cardiff, Castries, Cayenne, Charlotte Amalie, Chisinau, Conakry, Copenhagen, Cotonou, Crawley, Dakar, Damascus, Dammam, Dhaka, Dili, Djibouti, Dodoma, Doha, Dublin, Dushanbe, Edinburgh, Fort-de-France, Freetown, Funafuti, Gaborone, George Town, Georgetown, Glasgow, Guatemala, Hanoi, Harare, Havana, Helsinki, Hobart, Honiara, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Jubail, Kabul, Kampala, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kiev, Kigali, Kingston, Kingstown, Kinshasa, Koror, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, La Paz, Leeds, Leicester, Libreville, Lilongwe, Lima, Lisbon, Liverpool, Ljubljana, Lome, London, Luanda, Lusaka, Luxembourg, Macau, Madinah, Madrid, Makkah, Malabo, Male, Mamoudzou, Managua, Manama, Manchester, Manila, Maputo, Maseru, Masqat, Mbabane, Mecca, Medina, Mexico, Minsk, Mogadishu, Monrovia, Montevideo, Moroni, Moscow, Moskva, N’Djamena, Nairobi, Nassau, New Delhi, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Time, Niamey, Nicosia, Norwich, Nouakchott, Noumea, Nuku’alofa, Nuuk, Oranjestad, Oslo, Ottawa, Ouagadougou, Oxford, P’yongyang, Pago Pago, Palikir, Panama, Papeete, Paramaribo, Paris, Perth, Phnom Penh, Plymouth, Port Moresby, Port-Vila, Port-au-Prince, Porto-Novo, Portsmouth, Prague, Praia, Pretoria, Quito, Reading, Reykjavik, Riga, Riyadh, Road Town, Rome, Roseau, Saint Pierre, Saipan, San Jose, San Juan, San Marino, San Salvador, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Sao Tome, Sarajevo, Seoul, Sheffield, Skopje, Sofia, Southampton, St. Peter Port, Stanley, Stockholm, Sucre, Suva, Swansea, Swindon, Sydney, T’bilisi, Tallinn, Tarawa, Tashkent, Tegucigalpa, Tehran, Thimphu, Tirane, Torshavn, Tripoli, Tunis, Vaduz, Valletta, Vienna, Vientiane, Vilnius, W. Indies, Warsaw, Washington DC, Wellington, Willemstad, Windhoek, Wolverhampton, Yamoussoukro, Yangon, Yaounde, Yerevan, Zagreb

US Cities

Albany, Albuquerque, Anchorage, Annapolis, Atlanta, Augusta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Billings, Birmingham, Bismarck, Boise, Boston, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Burlington, Carson City, Charleston, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Concord, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dover, Fargo, Frankfort, Harrisburg, Hartford, Helena, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jackson, Jacksonville, Jefferson City, Juneau, Kansas City, Lansing, Las Vegas, Lincoln, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Manchester, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Montgomery, Montpelier, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Oklahoma City, Olympia, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pierre, Portland, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Saint Paul, Salem, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, Sioux Falls, Springfield, Tallahassee, Toledo, Topeka, Trenton, Virginia Beach, Wichita, Wilmington


The sun calculations in this module were adapted, for Python, from the following spreadsheet.

Which takes its calculations from

The moon phase calculation is based on some javascript code from Sky and Telescope magazine

Moon-phase calculation
Roger W. Sinnott, Sky & Telescope, June 16, 2006.

Also to Sphinx for making doc generation an easy thing (not that the writing of the docs is any easier.)


Simon Kennedy <>

Version History

Version Description
  • Changed City to accept unicode name and country.
  • Moved city information into a database class CityDB
  • Added attribute access to database for timezone groups
  • Duplicate city names could not be accessed.
  • Sun calculations for some cities failed with times outside valid ranges.
  • Fixes for city data.
  • Added calculation for moon phase.
  • Changed to Apache V2.0 license.
  • Fix for bug 555508 submitted by me.
  • US state capitals and other cities added.
0.2 Fix for bug 554041 submitted by Derek_ / John Dimatos
0.1 First release

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