Information on Service 'Minor Planet Center - Asteroid Orbital Data'

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Complete Asteroid Data from the Minor Planet Center (MPC), updated once per month. The MPC operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under the auspices of Division III of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The MPC Orbit database contains orbital elements of minor planets that have been published in the Minor Planet Circulars, the Minor Planet Orbit Supplement and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars.

For a list of all services and tables belonging to this service's resource, see Information on resource 'Minor Planet Center - Asteroid Orbital Data'

Overview

You can access this service using:

This service is published as follows:

local means it is listed on our front page, ivo_managed means it has a record in the VO registry.

Input Fields

The following fields are available to provide input to the service (with some renderers, some of these fields may be unavailable):

NameTable Head DescriptionUnitUCD
arg_perihel Arg. Perihel. Argument of Perihelion, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.periastron
designation Number/Prov. Asteroid number or provisional designation. N/A meta.id;meta.main
eccentricity e Eccentricity of the orbit N/A src.orbital.eccentricity
epoch Epoch Epoch of the orbit (julian years) a time.epoch
inclination i Inclination of the orbit to the ecliptic, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.inclination
long_asc Asc. Node Longitude of ascending node, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.node
mag Mag Absolute Magnitude of the asteroid mag phys.magAbs
mean_anomaly Mean Anom. Mean anomaly at the epoch deg src.orbital.meanAnomaly
name Name Human-readable designation of the Asteroid. N/A meta.id
orbit_class Class Orbit family this object belongs to (note that the classification is based on cuts in osculating element space and is not 100% reliable. N/A meta.class
semimaj_ax Semimaj. ax. Orbital semimajor axis AU phys.angSize.smajAxis;src.orbital.smajAxis

Default Output Fields

The following fields are contained in the output by default. More fields may be available for selection; these would be given below in the VOTable output fields.

NameTable Head DescriptionUnitUCD
arc_length Arc Length of observed arcs for single-opposition orbits. d time.interval;time.epoch
arg_perihel Arg. Perihel. Argument of Perihelion, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.periastron
designation Number/Prov. Asteroid number or provisional designation. N/A meta.id;meta.main
eccentricity e Eccentricity of the orbit N/A src.orbital.eccentricity
epoch Epoch Epoch of the orbit (julian years) a time.epoch
first_obs Disc. year Discovery year for multi-opposition orbits. a time.epoch
inclination i Inclination of the orbit to the ecliptic, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.inclination
last_obs Last Obs. Date of last observation a time.epoch;obs
long_asc Asc. Node Longitude of ascending node, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.node
mag Mag Absolute Magnitude of the asteroid mag phys.magAbs
mean_anomaly Mean Anom. Mean anomaly at the epoch deg src.orbital.meanAnomaly
mean_motion Mean Motion Mean Daily Motion deg/d pos.pm;arith.diff;phys.veloc
n_obs #Obs Number of Observations N/A meta.number;obs
n_opp #Opp Number of Oppositions N/A meta.number
name Name Human-readable designation of the Asteroid. N/A meta.id
orbit_class Class Orbit family this object belongs to (note that the classification is based on cuts in osculating element space and is not 100% reliable. N/A meta.class
rms_fit rms RMS Residual of orbital fit arcsec stat.fit.residual
semimaj_ax Semimaj. ax. Orbital semimajor axis AU phys.angSize.smajAxis;src.orbital.smajAxis
slope Slope Slope Parameter G. It describes how the magnitude of the asteroid varies as a function of changing illumination (phase angle) N/A src.morph.param

VOTable Output Fields

The following fields are available in VOTable output. The verbosity level is a number intended to represent the relative importance of the field on a scale of 1 to 30. The services take a VERB argument. A field is included in the output if their verbosity level is less or equal VERB*10.

NameTable Head DescriptionUnitUCD Verb. Level
mag Mag Absolute Magnitude of the asteroid mag phys.magAbs 1
eccentricity e Eccentricity of the orbit N/A src.orbital.eccentricity 1
semimaj_ax Semimaj. ax. Orbital semimajor axis AU phys.angSize.smajAxis;src.orbital.smajAxis 1
name Name Human-readable designation of the Asteroid. N/A meta.id 1
mean_motion Mean Motion Mean Daily Motion deg/d pos.pm;arith.diff;phys.veloc 5
designation Number/Prov. Asteroid number or provisional designation. N/A meta.id;meta.main 12
slope Slope Slope Parameter G. It describes how the magnitude of the asteroid varies as a function of changing illumination (phase angle) N/A src.morph.param 15
epoch Epoch Epoch of the orbit (julian years) a time.epoch 15
mean_anomaly Mean Anom. Mean anomaly at the epoch deg src.orbital.meanAnomaly 15
arg_perihel Arg. Perihel. Argument of Perihelion, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.periastron 15
long_asc Asc. Node Longitude of ascending node, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.node 15
inclination i Inclination of the orbit to the ecliptic, J2000.0 deg src.orbital.inclination 15
n_obs #Obs Number of Observations N/A meta.number;obs 15
n_opp #Opp Number of Oppositions N/A meta.number 15
arc_length Arc Length of observed arcs for single-opposition orbits. d time.interval;time.epoch 15
first_obs Disc. year Discovery year for multi-opposition orbits. a time.epoch 15
rms_fit rms RMS Residual of orbital fit arcsec stat.fit.residual 15
orbit_class Class Orbit family this object belongs to (note that the classification is based on cuts in osculating element space and is not 100% reliable. N/A meta.class 15
last_obs Last Obs. Date of last observation a time.epoch;obs 15
uncertainty Uncertainty Quality code (0 is best) as per http://www.minorplanetcenter.org/iau/info/UValue.html. Or: E -- the orbital eccentricity was assumed; D -- for one-opposition orbits this means a double (or multiple) designation is involved; F -- an e-assumed double (or multiple) designation is involved. N/A meta.code.error 25
reference Ref Origin of the data N/A meta.ref;meta.bib 25
perturbers Perturbers Information on orbit perturbers; see table note. Note 1 N/A meta.note 25
computer Computer Identifies the computer of the orbit N/A meta.note 25

Copyright, License, Acknowledgements

This data was compiled at the Minor Planet Center (MPC). Updated data files are available at http://www.minorplanetcenter.org/iau/mpc.html

VOResource XML (that's something exclusively for VO nerds)

Note 1

More information is available at http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/info/Perturbers.html

The first part of this is a descriptor of the system used for the perturbing planets according to the follow scheme:

(space) Undefined/unknown, assume JPL DE200 positions + masses
d JPL DE200 positions + masses
f JPL DE245 positions + masses
h JPL DE403 positions + masses
j JPL DE405 positions + masses

The second part is a two-digit hexadecimal number to be interpreted bitwise (this was taken literally from the MPC data and will probably be parsed out at some point). In the meantime, here is the key to the bits:

Perturber Bit Value  
Hygiea 0 1  
Earth 1 2 Bits 1 + 2 must both be set or both be unset!
Moon 2 4
Ceres 3 8  
Pallas 4 16  
Vesta 5 32  
Eunomia 6 64  

Sum the values of the included perturbers and convert to hexadecimal. Since orbits will always include the major planets Mercury to Neptune there is no need to include these bodies in the above scheme (other than allowing the earth and moon to be treated separately).

Some examples of coarse and precise indicators are:

Coarse Precise Perturbers (Mercury-Neptune+...)
     

The default for Minor Planet Center orbits will henceforth be h (DE403), M-v (coarse) and 38 or 3E (precise, depending on whether the object is an earth-approacher or not). Additional perturbers will be added as necessary.