Using apexpy

The Apex class contains most of the methods you’ll want to use when converting between geodetic and apex or quasi-dipole coordinates. The convert() method is designed to be the primary user interface for coordinate conversion. For full documentation of this and other class methods, see the reference for Apex. Some simple examples to get you going follow below.

Initialize the Apex class

The Apex class requires a date and time as well as a reference height when initialized. If you don’t supply one, then the class will default to the current time (in Universal Time) and a reference height of 0 km. For this example, we will specify the time. Time can be supplied as either a decimal year, datetime object, or a date object.

import apexpy
apex_out = apexpy.Apex(date=2015.3)

This yields:

Apex class conversions performed with
Decimal year: 2015.30000000
Reference height: 0.000 km
Earth radius: 6371.009 km

Coefficient file: '/path/to/programs/apexpy/src/apexpy/apexsh.dat'
Cython Fortran library: '/path/to/programs/Git/apexpy/src/apexpy/'

Convert from Geodetic to Magnetic Coordinates

You can use the initialized Apex() object to convert from geodetic coordinates to magnetic coordinates and back again. When converting to and from apex coordinates, you need to supply the height of the observations.

alat, alon = apex_out.convert(60, 15, 'geo', 'apex', height=300)
print("{:.12f}, {:.12f}".format(alat, alon))
57.477310180664, 93.590156555176

For quasi-dipole coordinates, this isn’t necessary.

qlat, qlon = apex_out.convert(60, 15, 'geo', 'qd')
print("{:.12f}, {:.12f}".format(qlat, qlon))
56.598316192627, 93.174751281738

You can calculate multiple locaitons at once using arrays, as long as the inputs are broadcastable. For example, you can provide a list or array of different latitudes for a single longitude (and height). It is also acceptable to provide a list or array of the same shape that provides paired latitude, longitude, and heights (if needed). However, you can’t provide mismatched array or list inputs. Here is an example where we convert from apex coordinates to geodetic coordinates for two different latitudes at the same longitude and height.

glat, glon = apex_out.convert([90, -90], 0, 'apex', 'geo', height=0)
print(["{:.12f}, {:.12f}".format(ll, glon[i]) for i,ll in enumerate(glat)])
['83.103820800781, -84.526657104492', '-74.388252258301, 125.736274719238']

Convert to Magnetic Local Time

When converting to magnetic local time (MLT), the convert function requires a datetime input alongside a latitude and longitude.

import datetime as dt
utime = dt.datetime(2015, 2, 10, 18, 0, 0)
mlat, mlt = apex_out.convert(60, 15, 'geo', 'mlt', datetime=utime)
print("{:.12f}, {:.12f}".format(mlat, mlt))
56.598316192627, 19.107861709595

If you already have magnetic longitude, you can also calculate MLT using mlon2mlt().

mlt = apex_out.mlon2mlt(120, utime)