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Tables of Astronomical Information

The tables on this site are drawn from the current literature. The source of each piece of information is given. For some information, a web link is given to a page that gives additional information.

Basic Information

Basic Measures in Astronomy. Standard units of measure are defined and discussed on this page. This includes the definition of the terms parsec and astronomical unit, which are units of length, the descriptions of the various standards of time, and the definition of the celestial coordinate system.

Light and the Measures of Frequency. Astronomers use a variety of measures to express the frequency of a light wave. These units can be in terms of frequency, wavelength, or photon energy. Which of these units is used varies among the various observer communities. This page explains the basic relationship between frequency, wavelength, and photon energy, describes the different units in use, and presents a table relating these different units.

Solar System Tables

Characteristics of the Sun. The basic characteristics of the Sun are given. Included in this list are the Sun's mass, radius, luminosity, effective temperature, rotation period, and stellar type.

Planetary Comparative Data. This table gives some basic characteristics Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in units of the values for Earth. The characteristics are are the semimajor axis, the sidereal orbital period, the mass, the sidereal rotation period, the density, the surface gravity, and the escape velocity. Pluto is left off of this list because it has the characteristics of a trans-Neptunian object, while the remaining planets neatly fall into three groups: terrestrial planets, giant gas planets, and giant ice planets. The characteristics of each planets in standard physical units are given in the tables for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Planetary Parameters. This page explains the terms used to characterize a planet, such as volumetric mean radius, flattening, semimajor axis, eccentricity, and planetary solar constant.

Elemental Abundances in the Solar System. The abundances in the solar system of the 32 lightest elements. The condensation temperature is given for each element that can condense.

Galaxy Tables

Physical Properties of the Milky Way Galaxy. The inferred mass and size of our Galaxy is given in this table, as are the mass and distance of the central black hole, the rotational velocity of the Galactic disk at the Sun, and the velocity of the Sun relative to the local stars, among other properties.

The 10 Brightest Stars within 10 Parsecs.  There are 357 known stars within 10 parsecs of the Sun.  Only 10 of these stars have an apparent visual magnitude of less than 3.  The table lists these stars, giving their absolute and apparent visual magnitudes, their color, their distance, and their stellar type.

Orbital Parameters of Stars Orbiting Sgr A*. Several B main-sequence stars at the Galactic center have had their orbital parameters derived. Orbital values are give in the table on this page for the stars with the best-determined orbits. Among these parameters are those for S2, the star with the best-determined orbit, an orbit that is completed once every 15 years.

Physics Tables

Nucleon Energy Table. The energies per nucleon for the light elements involved in helium and hydrogen fusion are given in a table of atomic mass number versus element type.

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