Installing PlanetMapper

PlanetMapper can easily be installed from PyPI using pip by running:

pip install planetmapper

This will automatically install PlanetMapper, along with any dependencies (e.g. NumPy and Astropy) which you do not already have installed. Note that PlanetMapper requires a minimum Python version of 3.10.

Updating PlanetMapper

To upgrade an existing PlanetMapper installation to the latest version, run:

pip install planetmapper --upgrade

You can view the release notes for each version on GitHub.

First steps

The core logic of PlanetMapper uses a series of files called ‘SPICE kernels’ which contain the information about the positions and properties of Solar System bodies. Therefore, once you have PlanetMapper installed, you will need to download the appropriate kernels before you can properly use PlanetMapper.

Once you have the SPICE kernels downloaded, you can type planetmapper in the command line to open an interactive window, or import planetmapper in a Python script to get the full functionality.


Check the list of common issues if you encounter any problems when using PlanetMapper