You must have often come across a term Ephemeris in Astronomy as well as Astrology. It is a widely known fact that the positions of the planets have a deep impact on our lives and to some extent on our personalities. Planetary motions are determined by astronomers and astrologers alike to study their influence on the natural phenomenon as well as human lives. So, what exactly is an Ephemeris? How does it become relevant in Astronomy as well as Astrology? Let us find out answers to these questions and know more about Ephemeris in detail.

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Ephemeris is basically a chart or a book that houses and depicts the position of planets and other celestial bodies at a given point in time. This word is taken from  Latin language and essentially means a diary. So, as its name is, an Ephemeris is a journal or a record of the positions of the planets and stars. Not just the naturally occurring heavenly bodies but the artificially placed satellites also become a part of the Ephemeris chart. In simple words, Ephemeris keeps the record of the movement and position of the celestial body at a specific time of the day in a year. One can find out the position of a particular planet a particular time and day.

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Historically or in the initial days, an Ephemeris was created by manual calculations and a printed copy of the same was produced. But, with the advent of new-age technology, the calculations become more accurate and electronic. The mathematical computations of the position of the planets, Earth and other celestial objects are done electronically and this is how the Modern Ephemeris is produced. This Modern form of Ephemeris is used by Astronomers as well as Astrologers as a guiding document to make certain calculations and predictions accurately.

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Astrologers and astronomers both give immense significance to an Ephemeris to find out the movement of the planets and satellites. Astronomers often refer to an Ephemeris to find out about different terrestrial occurrences such as eclipses, phases of the moon, sidereal time, planet ingresses, planet retrograde, etc. While in Astrology, the guidance of an Ephemeris is required to make horoscope predictions on the basis of the planets, stars and their motion. Astrologers also use it to find the exact movement and position of the planets at the time of one’s birth and chart out the birth chart accordingly.

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Several Celestial Navigation Softwares are also devised with the help of an Ephemeris which in turn are used for Spacecraft navigation. Moreover, with the positions of satellites listed in the Ephemeris chart, it can also be a substitute for Global Positioning System (GPS).

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To check an Ephemeris has become quite convenient nowadays. Several websites such as mPanchang contain ephemeris dating back to many years. One can easily enter the date or month or year for which they want to find out the position of the planets and the Nakshatra and can consult an Astrologer on the basis of the same.     



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