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PAL -- A Positional Astronomy Library

Project description

PALpy - Python positional astronomy library

PALpy is a python interface to the PAL positional astronomy library
(<>). All source code is included with
the distribution via git submodules.

To build the python interface from the git repository::

git submodule init
git submodule update
python build
python install

Requires that Cython and numpy are installed.

The interface uses the same names as the C interface with the pal
prefix missing::

import palpy as pal

djm = pal.caldj( 1999, 12, 31 )
(r2000, d2000) = pal.fk45z( 1.2, -0.3, 1960 )

All arguments modified by the C API are returned. No arguments
are modified. The one routine that is different is palObs which
returns a simple dict that can be searched using standard python.
The keys to the dict are the short names and the values are another
dict with keys name, long, lat and height.

See ```` for detailed examples of all functions.


The module provides documentation on how to use the perl interface
to PAL. It does not contain information on how to use
PAL itself.

The basic PAL documentation can be found at

For more information the SLA documentation provides much more

A description paper for PAL was published in the ADASS XXII
conference proceedings:

Please consider citing this if you use PAL or palpy in your

Further Work

Documentation is missing from the Python description. Please
look at the PAL C code for now but the intent is to add the
API descriptions to the source (preferably dynamically).

Not all the SLALIB routines are available from PAL.


Copyright (C) 2012, 2014
Tim Jenness (
All Rights Reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of
the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be
useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied
PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston,
MA 02110-1301, USA.

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