asteroid planet_name [...] [date=dd/mm/yyyy] [ut=hh:mm:ss] [rates]asteroid calculates the position of the major or minor planet(s) specified on the command line. The calculation is for the current date and time (from the system clock) unless overridden by the command line options.
The program calculates the positions from elements contained in the file MPCORB.DAT. The path to this file may be changed by the environment variable CATALOGHOME. The names are not case sensitive. The elements are the osculating elements from the or mirror IAU: Minor Planet Center. When successful, the program prints out line(s) similar to the following:
07:08:36.1 +23:15:40 2000.0 14.3 EdithWhere the first three fields are the RA, Dec, and epoch (actually equinox), the fourth is the predicted V magnitude and the fifth field is the asteroid name. The coordinates are astrometric and have been corrected for light travel time, but not aberration or nutation.
Note: asteroids whose name contain included spaces must have underscores substituted for the spaces. This format is used on output also so that the name is one field.
The osculating elements of the major planets are also included for estimating their positions.