Astronomy--Programs to Compute Siderial Time?

W. eWatson wolftracks at
Thu Jan 7 04:40:52 CET 2010

John Machin wrote:
> On Jan 7, 11:40 am, "W. eWatson" <wolftra... at> wrote:
>> W. eWatson wrote:
>>> Is there a smallish Python library of basic astronomical functions?
>>> There are a number of large such libraries that are crammed with
>>> excessive functions not needed for common calculations.
>> It looks like I've entered a new era in my knowledge of Python.
> Mild curiosity: this would be a wonderful outcome, but what makes it
> look so?
I actually need to learn how to make a module that can be imported, 
which in the short interlude I have done. Also looked into docstrings 
and docs, which I now have a decent grasp of. Never really used either 
doc info or writing my own module before. Easy.
>> I found
>> a module somewhat like I want, You can see an intro to it
>> at <>.
>> It appears that I can get the code for it through section 1.2, near the
>> bottom. I scooped it up, and placed it in a corresponding
>> file of the same name and type via NotePad. However, there is a xml file
>> below it. I know little about it. I thought maybe I could do the same,
>> but Notepad didn't like some characters in it. As I understand Python
>> doc files are useful. So how do I get this done, and where do I put the
>> files?
> The file you need is, not your twice-mentioned
> (the existence of which on the referenced website is doubtful).
How right you are. I misspelled it twice, and quickly found that out 
when I tried to use the [side][real] (easy mnemonic, two words) module. 
> What you have been reading is the "Internal maintenance
> specification" (large font, near the top of the page) for the module.
> The xml file is the source of the docs, not meant to be user-legible.
What is it used for? Do I need it?
> A very tiny amount of googling "" (quotes included) leads
> to the user documentation at
Found that too as I cruised around.
> Where do you put the files? Well, we're now down to only one file,
>, and you put it wherever you'd put any other module that
> you'd like to call ... if there's only going to be one caller, put it
> in the same directory as that caller's code. More generally, drop it
> in <YOUR_PYTHON_INSTALL_DIR>/Lib/site-packages
Again in my "learning about modules", discovered that too. I think I'm 
on my way. Thanks.

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