\usepackage{marvosym} allows you to write M_\Sun or r_\Earth to have variables annotated with celestial body symbols. It would be surely nice to have in the mark-up.

The list of planet symbols included is as follows:

\Sun \Moon \Mercury \Venus \Mars \Jupiter \Saturn \Uranus \Neptune \Pluto \Earth

Would it be much trouble to include this package in our set, so that this would work?:

$M_\Sun = 1.989e30 kg$

  • $\begingroup$ It would obviously be good to have these at Astronomy as well. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 17 '15 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ @TildalWave: Sorry, nope. I stumbled upon that searching for something entirely different. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Dec 17 '15 at 14:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Shameless duplicate on Astronomy $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Dec 17 '15 at 14:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One thing to consider is that marvosym doesn't work inside the $ signs. $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Aug 2 '16 at 15:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @kimholder I just noticed that the comments and other answer there say that the macros can be easily patched to allow those symbols to work inside the $ signs. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    Sep 27 '16 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage so, if the package was enabled, it would be a question of putting \text{} around the symbol name, and adding a package name? I don't use LaTeX outside of the MathJax on the site, so the answer in the link confuses me... $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Oct 2 '16 at 20:30

Agreed, I believe we could use that. It shouldn't be too much trouble, we already have some MathJax extensions enabled, like mhchem (load it with \require{mhchem} in the first MathJax line, then invoke each time you need it with \ce{} within which you can write empirical formulas and some other chemical notations).

In the meantime, we can use those Unicode characters that are built into HTML and universally supported in browsers, and built-in MathJax symbols:

Some other symbols of interest:

  • Waxing crescent moon (): $☽$
  • Comet (): $☄$
  • Star ( or or \star): $☆★\star$
  • Ascending node (): $☊$
  • Descending node (): $☋$
  • Conjunction (): $☌$
  • Opposition (): $☍$
  • Aries (): $♈$
  • Taurus (): $♉$
  • Gemini (): $♊$
  • Cancer (): $♋$
  • Leo (): $♌$
  • Virgo (): $♍$
  • Libra (): $♎$
  • Scorpio (): $♏$
  • Sagitarius (): $♐$
  • Capricorn (): $♑$
  • Aquarius (): $♒$
  • Pisces (): $♓$

All these should display correctly in all browsers, but please do let me know if that isn't the case. But yes, agreed, this would have been a whole lot simpler if we could type in names of celestial bodies instead of copying them from somewhere.

Always handy: MathJax basic tutorial and quick reference

  • $\begingroup$ Are there any schematic symbol sets for celestial mechanics or orbital dynamics terms like periastron, perihilion, apogee, perigee, etc.? $\endgroup$ Jan 24 '16 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ Also, it's good to note that MathJax is pretty good at displaying unicode: $M_♃$ produces $M_♃$. $\endgroup$
    – E.P.
    Sep 4 '16 at 0:22

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