I want to calculate the Elevation angle between Earth and Mars .I have the Mars and Earth exact position in space ,but need the elevation Angle from a specific Earth Station antenna ( e.g. canberra station ) .may help me ? thank alot

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    $\begingroup$ How about show us your "exact positions" and tell us the coordinate system(s). $\endgroup$
    – rickhg12hs
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


You can use the JPL HORIZONS system. Select the target body (Mars), the observer location (lat/long, or city name), and table settings (check Apparent AZ & EL). Select the time span you want if you don't like the default (every day for the next month). Then "Generate Ephemeris".

  • $\begingroup$ but I want to write a code myself !! $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 15:50
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    $\begingroup$ @user3658470 So you want us to guess what data you're working with? Please work towards providing all required information to answer it in your question. This is now the second time you've asked same question, this time even more vague than the previous one (now deleted by you) that many of us were working with you in the comments to make it complete and answerable. There's many ways to calculate angles, surely you didn't want us to explain to you basic trigonometry? Please add details to your question required to answer it more specifically. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 16:13

Do you really want to calculate it entirely from first principles? If not, you might find the PyEphem library useful.

Or e.g. this code: https://github.com/swift-nav/libswiftnav/blob/master/src/coord_system.c (you'll have to convert to the ECEF coordinate system first)


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