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"Citizen Science" - reporting Asteroid Astrometry to MPC


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Back in March I was granted an observatory code ( Q69 ) by the Minor Planet Center ( MPC ) and since then I have been spending all my available telescope time ( which due the weather has admittedly not been very much :( ) to capturing images of asteroids, that the MPC is interested in recieving data for, and sending in the positions that I have determined.

Mostly I have been focused on asteroids that have not been observed/reported on during their current return to visibility.

2014 LA21 was my first after getting my code ...

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Here I was the first to report astrometry for 2014 LA21 since 2016 - not like discovering a new comet I imagine but still, a small achievement and  a nice feeling :)

You may have noticed that I don't as yet supply any brightness data; this is because I have not figured out how I can do this reliably ( most of the asteroids I am chasing are very dim and so my 4 minute exposures tend to spread them a little making them hard to compare to nearby stars ).

I have been getting reasonably good position data though, with a "variation to average path" across the samples of sub 1 arcsec ( typically less than 0.5 and sometimes down as low 0.15 )

....

Anyway, I was just thought I would let people know what I have been up to and why you have not seem me latley over on deep sky imaging forum and also, I was wondering if there is anyone else here on Stargazerslounge doing the same thing ...

 

Edited by MikeODay
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11 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Good for you. Obviously kicked a little bit of life back into Pan-STARRS as well.

Thanks!  Although I'm pretty sure that the Pan-STARRS guys don't pay too much attention to the likes of me with my little setup - now if I find a comet one day, that might be different :)

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Had a go at getting an obs'y code a while ago but couldn't figure out how to do it, ended up going round in circles as seemed to need to send data to get a code but couldn't send data without a code :icon_scratch:

Maybe I should have another try.

Dave

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

Had a go at getting an obs'y code a while ago but couldn't figure out how to do it, ended up going round in circles as seemed to need to send data to get a code but couldn't send data without a code :icon_scratch:

Maybe I should have another try.

Dave

Yes you do need to send a few sets of measurements for the MPC to check and make sure your measurements are within certain bounds.  Once they qualify you they issue the code.  The code to use for the qualifying sets is XXX.

 

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