Customising static orbit plots

The default styling for plots works pretty well however sometimes you may need to change things. The following will show you how to change the style of your plots and have different types of lines and dots.

This is the default plot we will start with:

from astropy.time import Time

from matplotlib import pyplot as plt

from poliastro.bodies import Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Sun
from poliastro.frames import Planes
from poliastro.plotting import StaticOrbitPlotter
from poliastro.twobody import Orbit
epoch = Time("2018-08-17 12:05:50", scale="tdb")

plotter = StaticOrbitPlotter(plane=Planes.EARTH_ECLIPTIC)
plotter.plot_body_orbit(Earth, epoch, label="Earth")
plotter.plot_body_orbit(Mars, epoch, label="Mars")
plotter.plot_body_orbit(Jupiter, epoch, label="Jupiter");
([<matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x7fe6a00c6990>],
 <matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x7fe6a009fad0>)
epoch = Time("2018-08-17 12:05:50", scale="tdb")

plotter = StaticOrbitPlotter(plane=Planes.EARTH_ECLIPTIC)
earth_plots_traj, earth_plots_pos = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Earth, epoch, label=Earth)

earth_plots_traj[0].set_linestyle("-")  # solid line
earth_plots_pos.set_marker("H")  # Hexagon

mars_plots = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Mars, epoch, label=Mars)
jupiter_plots = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Jupiter, epoch, label=Jupiter)

Here we get hold of the lines list from the OrbitPlotter.plot method this is a list of lines. The first is the orbit line. The second is the current position marker. With the matplotlib lines objects we can start changing the style. First we make the line solid but thin. Then we change the current position marker to a large hexagon.

More details of the style options for the markers can be found here: More details of the style options on lines can be found here: However make sure that you use the set methods rather than just changing the attributes as the methods will force a re-draw of the plot.

Next we will make some changes to the other two orbits:

epoch = Time("2018-08-17 12:05:50", scale="tdb")

plotter = StaticOrbitPlotter()

earth_plots_t, earth_plots_p = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Earth, epoch, label=Earth)
earth_plots_t[0].set_linestyle("-")  # solid line
earth_plots_p.set_marker("H")  # Hexagon

mars_plots_t, mars_plots_p = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Mars, epoch, label=Mars)
mars_plots_t[0].set_dashes([0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0])
mars_plots_p.set_marker("D")  # Diamond
# make sure this is set if you use fillstyle 'none'

jupiter_plots_t, jupiter_plots_p = plotter.plot_body_orbit(Jupiter, epoch, label=Jupiter)
jupiter_plots_t[0].set_linestyle("")  # No line
jupiter_plots_p.set_marker("*")  # star

You can also change the style of the plot using the matplotlib axis which can be aquired from the OrbitPlotter().

See the following example that creates a grid, adds a title, and makes the background transparent. To make the changes clearer it goes back to the inital example:

epoch = Time("2018-08-17 12:05:50", scale="tdb")

fig, ax = plt.subplots()

ax.set_title("Earth, Mars, and Jupiter")

plotter = StaticOrbitPlotter(ax)

plotter.plot_body_orbit(Earth, epoch, label=Earth)
plotter.plot_body_orbit(Mars, epoch, label=Mars)
plotter.plot_body_orbit(Jupiter, epoch, label=Jupiter)
([<matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x7fe69d1b0b10>],
 <matplotlib.lines.Line2D at 0x7fe69d1ba650>)