earth precession and stars azimuth

Asked by bhadra on 2016-07-28

Hello,
I have used Stellarium to look at azimuth of rising point of stars (stars that are close to ecliptic and observed from say 25 degree latitude) from -1000 BCE to about 26000 AD. That is, looking at shift across axial precession. How accurate is stellarium's depiction of sky across so many millennia? Is it reliable? I want to use the Azimuth measurements in a research paper I am writing for a scientific journal.
Best Regards,
Bhadra

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2016-07-28
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2016-07-28
gzotti (georg-zotti) said : #1

I have made such illustrative graphics of rising azimuth shift over millennia with the precession model from Meeus even in PostScript already.

Stellarium 0.14.3 has the modified/extended IAU2006 Precession from Vondrak 2011, so this is likely the most accurate model. Stellar positions are Hipparcos, proper motion is AFAIK only from linear components, not 3D. Planetary ephemeris model is VSOP87, and you can see that the sun is forced onto ecliptic of J2000 after 8000AD. You should either state that you used Stellarium 0.14.3 (?) for illustration (which still currently comes without guarantee for accuracy) or try to verify our results by comparing with some other readily available and trustworthy tool's result. The latter would be helpful as feedback to detect accuracy problems. Or make your own computation for a handful of well-distributed stars and compare with existing programs?

Good luck,
Georg

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