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The Small Bodies Node’s MPC Annex and MPC Database Distribution System

Presentation #117.08 in the session Open Science and Data Tools (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
The Small Bodies Node’s MPC Annex and MPC Database Distribution System

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) is the International Astronomical Union (IAU) designated clearing-house of all astrometric and radar observations of the Solar System’s small-bodies. The MPC is a functional subnode of the NASA Planetary Data System’s Small Bodies Node. In anticipation of the imminent increase in reported observations from the next generation of surveys like NEO Surveyor (Mainzer et al. 2022) and LSST (Schwamb et al. 2018), the MPC has redesigned its processing pipeline, and implemented many of the anticipated improvements. The new MPC processing pipeline leverages the use of a relational SQL database as its core data reference system. Live copies (read-only) of its database are also distributed to interested institutions as a means of communicating MPC products. Taking advantage of the SBN-MPC relationship, and the SBN’s data distribution infrastructure, SBN has taken on the task of distributing live database public copies to the community. The SBN has also constituted a number of web-based products based on information from the MPC database. These products, located in the SBN’s MPC Annex (, serve to communicate the status of the database distribution. The Annex also presents unique summaries of the information provided by the database in an easily accessible manner to the community, including through tools like MPEC Watch, and the Yearly Count summaries. Future products regarding comet discoveries and observations and a database query tool are also being developed. We will present the current and planned products within the Annex, as well as update our plans for the database distribution.

Mainzer A., Masiero J., Wright E., et al. 2022, DPS Meeting, London, Ontario, Canada.

Schwamb, M. E., Jones, R., L., Chesley, S. R. et al. 2018, arXiv:1802.01783 [astro-ph.EP]

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