Centres

Minor Planet Center

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory , under the auspices of Division III of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) , with significant funding coming from subscriptions to the various services offered by the Center.

The MPC is responsible for the designation of minor bodies in the solar system: minor planets; comets (in conjunction with CBAT); and natural satellites (also in conjunction with CBAT). The MPC is also responsible for the efficient collection, (computation), checking and dissemination of astrometric observations and orbits for minor planets and comets, via the Minor Planet Circulars (issued generally on a monthly basis), the Minor Planet Circulars Orbit Supplement (MPO) (issued three to twelve times per year), the Minor Planet Circulars Supplement (MPS) (issued three or four times a month) and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (issued as necessary, generally at least once per day).

Visit the MPC website

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