Frequently asked questions
Swiss Ephemeris > For Programmers
can I find more information on the Swiss Ephemeris?
You can find a full documentation under www.astro.com/swisseph/. The Swiss Ephemeris is designed for developers of astrological software. It consists of files that are not really useful until they are read by software which you have to develop first. For commercial use of Swiss Ephemeris you must purchase a license.
I compute the planetary nodes with Swiss Ephemeris?
A sufficiently talented programmer can use our Swiss Ephemeris package to compute the planetary nodes. There are functions provided for the osculating nodes of any celestial body.
Please, see chapter 5 of the Programmer's documentation for the Swiss Ephemeris. For celestial bodies with mean theories (Mercury to Neptune) mean nodes are also available, for the others (Pluto and all 23'000 asteroids) only osculating nodes are available.
If you are not a programmer, please use the Swiss Ephemeris test page at
See Swiss Ephemeris full documentation, section 2.2.4 for more explanation. The matter is not trivial, though very few astrologers have an idea about the technical problems involved.
it possible to calculate an asteroid ephemeris?
First, go to the Extended Chart Selection and use the link provided at the very bottom of the page to find the number of this asteroid. It is 1981 for Midas, for example. To include it in any chart, just enter this number in the field on the extended chart selection page.
For a simple ephemeris, you need to use the Swiss Ephemeris test page.
Fill out the form like this (or study the explanation page to find out for yourself):
start date: whatever you like
steps -n: 365 (for a 5-year ephemeris in 5-day steps)
stepsize -s: 5
planet selection -p: s
output format -f: PTLBD
(P = planet name, T = date, L = longitude, B = latitude, D = declination)
other options: -xs1981
(-xs followed by the number of the Asteroid you wish)
If you prefer signs and degrees instead of 360-degree notation for longitude, replace L with Z.
Now click on the 'submit' button.