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Minor Planet Center: Preparing for future surveys

Presentation #113.09 in the session Asteroids: Observational Surveys (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Minor Planet Center: Preparing for future surveys

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) is a NASA funded project that operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under the auspice of the IAU and is the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of the major planets (

The observed data, orbital elements, and MPC-generated products are publicly available through a variety of web-posted files and tools, but are also now being made available via replication of a live, postgres database that is populated as part of the processing of each submission. Use of a database-centric system is essential to increase capacity and provide the processing speed necessary to cope with planned future surveys (e.g. VRO/LSST and NEO Surveyor).

We would like to present our most recent efforts. Those include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving our processing pipelines;

  • Improving the usability of our observation and orbit database tables;

  • Increasing the level of validation of our products, such as observations and orbits;

  • Making our website more user friendly and improving our communication system.

We would also like to devote part of our presentation to presenting the main challenges we are currently facing and how the community could help us to speed up some processes and achieve better results.

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