Most Common

There are 3 primary variants of coordinate system and reference frame combinations.

Domain Coordinates Reference Frame Type Examples
Ground / Surface Longitude & Latitude Fixed (rotates with body) IAU_EARTH, IAU_MOON, IAU_MARS, ITRF93, etc
Space Right Ascension & Declination Inertial (Non-rotating) J2000, ECLIPJ2000
Math Rectangular Intertial (Non-rotating) J2000, ECLIPJ2000

For objects attached to a celestial body’s surface it is typical to reference positions in a “fixed” frame attached to the body by Longitude/Latitude/Altitude.

When discussing objects that are floating freely through space, a non-rotating Reference Frame is given, along with Right Ascension, Declination, and Range.

Almost all actual math is done in rectangular coordinate systems in non-rotating reference frames.

In the list above, Humans think most easily from top-down, while computers and mathematics think most easily from bottom-up.

These 3 variations cover the vast majority of cases.

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