Minor Planets Center

Article

October 28, 2021

The Minor Planet Center is an organization of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, which is part of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics together with the Harvard College Observatory.

Content

Under the auspices of the UAI, the MPC is the institution in charge of compiling observations of the minor planets (asteroids) and comets, calculating their orbits and publishing the results. It offers numerous online services aimed at facilitating the observer's work. One of these tools is the Catalog of Orbits of Registered Objects, MPCORB. The Center for Minor Planets was founded in 1947 at the University of Cincinnati. Since 1978 it has been in the SAO: it was directed until 2010 by Brian Marsden (1937-2010). This body is in charge of assigning codes to the different observatories that are dedicated to the search, study and monitoring of minor planets. These codes make it possible to unequivocally identify the discoverer or discoverers of each minor body: for example G05 ("Giordano Bruno Astronomical Observatory", Piconcillo, Córdoba, Spain), Z71 ("Norba Caesarina" Observatory, Cáceres, Spain) or Y00 (SONEAR Observatory, in Oliveira, Belo Horizonte, Brazil), etc. On a daily basis, it publishes, in electronic format, the MPECs or electronic circulars on minor planets, reports of new discoveries of comets or asteroids, as well as their positions (ephemeris) for the next few days.

See also

Minor Planets Circular Electronic circulars on minor planets Provisional designation UAI Circular

External links

Minor Planet Center MPCORB Catalog Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Minor Planet Center Electronic Circulars: New Discoveries Daily La Hita Observatory, Spain Ponferrada Observatory, Z70, Spain Norba Caesarina Observatory, Z71, Spain

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