Step 3: Generating a list of potential
You should open the list of potential targets with a text editor and examine its contents.
The format of the list is illustrated below:
TABLE OF POTENTIALLY OBSERVABLE TARGETS:
Configuration file: myStation.cfg
Log file: myStation_targets.log
Date: 2003-06-08 07:23 UT
R.A. Dec. Motion P.A. Elong Gal.Lat. Moon dist. Delta
Designation (h) (deg) mag. (deg/day) (deg) (deg) (deg) (deg) (AU) Last obs. Arc Type File
e 2003 EJ59 12.60 -27.4 21.8 .5000 108 120 +35 37 .8005 2003-04-21 40d Amor PUBL K03E59J.elm
d 1999 XQ164 12.62 -34.8 19.1 .2500 042 121 +28 44 1.1854 2001-10-17 2opp Hungaria PUBL J99XG4Q.elm
d 2002 GZ32 12.62 +12.3 20.3 .0120 222 106 +75 16 20.5326 2003-04-08 2opp Centaur PUBL K02G32Z.elm
l 2002 XZ69 12.63 +38.4 21.8 .6900 166 093 +78 34 1.3406 2002-12-14 1d Mars crosser PUBL K02X69Z.elm
n 2003 FC5 12.64 +01.1 21.1 .3600 114 111 +64 16 1.1162 2003-05-30 64d Apollo PUBL K03F05C.elm
d (10145) 12.64 -10.9 20.9 .1169 308 116 +52 23 1.4727 2002-03-09 4opp Apollo PUBL 10145.elm
d 2002 AO148 12.67 -25.9 19.9 .0420 018 120 +37 36 3.6449 2003-03-13 2opp Centaur PUBL K02AE8O.elm
e 2002 XP40 12.70 -01.1 21.8 .5500 124 113 +62 18 .7319 2003-04-06 121d Amor PUBL K02X40P.elm
d 1999 RZ200 12.71 -24.5 18.8 .0970 022 121 +38 35 2.5193 2002-03-13 3opp Main Belt IIIb PUBL J99RK0Z.elm
d 2001 UY24 12.72 -16.1 19.0 .1900 045 119 +47 28 1.9733 2003-04-30 2opp Main Belt IIIb PUBL K01U24Y.elm
v 2000 RX97 12.73 -23.1 17.9 .1500 037 121 +40 34 1.7668 2003-05-08 4opp Maria PUBL K00R97X.elm
n (52340) 12.75 -14.2 20.6 .2900 111 118 +49 27 1.0748 2003-05-03 3opp Apollo PUBL 52340.elm
n 2002 LW 12.75 -02.9 20.1 1.5365 018 114 +60 19 .1177 2003-01-30 2opp Apollo PUBL K02L00W.elm
N 2003 GC38 12.77 -01.6 20.2 .1100 149 114 +61 19 1.9314 2003-05-02 2opp Main belt IIb PUBL K03G38C.elm
The targets are listed in order of ascending right ascension, beginning at the Sun's right ascension.
The meanings of the various columns of the table (from left to right) are described below:
Priority code. The observing priority
level for some targets is
indicated by a letter in the first column of the table.
NEO candidates to
confirm and NEOs classified as
impactors are automatically marked with the highest-priority code, an
asterisk. NEOs for which the MPC requests "continuing observations" (often
recently demoted from virtual impactor status) are also marked with an
asterisk. The remaining priority codes, in order of decreasing priority, are
u (urgent), e
(extremely desirable), v
(very desirable), d (desirable),
n (not needed at this time or
not needed at this opposition). These priority ratings are extracted from the
Ephemeris Service output for minor planets with published orbits. For
comets and minor planets without published orbits, the
priority rating is not supplied by the MPC, so the first column of the
table of potential targets is left blank. For typical main belt asteroids,
the same priority codes are used, but are shown as upper case letters
This distinction is made because, according to the MPC,
the priority codes should not be the only criterion in deciding
whether or not a NEO should be observed on a given night. For example,
in some cases the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service may say that further
observations of a currently observable fast-moving NEO will only become
desirable in a few weeks, when the object will have become unobservable.
In such a case, it may be advisable to observe the object immediately, since
this may be the last opportunity to observe it in the current apparition.
For typical main belt objects, the MPC considers that the priority ratings
are fully satisfactory. Priority codes may also be
assigned by the user.
- Designation. This column gives the target's designation.
An additional "object" of special interest to minor
planet observers, the anti-solar point, is also
- Right ascension. This is a low precision
coordinate given in hours. For fixed objects it is extracted from the
fixed object database (which in turn may have obtained the coordinates
from some external catalog). For
moving targets, it is obtained from the available ephemeris
in the moving object database.
- Declination. This is a low precision
coordinate given in degrees.
- Magnitude. This is the target's predicted magnitude.
- Rate of motion. For moving targets, this is the predicted rate of motion
(expressed in degrees/day)
based on the available ephemeris in the moving object database. The rate of motion
is zero for fixed targets.
- Position angle of motion vector. For moving objects, this is the position
angle (measured in degrees from north = 0 through east = 90) of the predicted motion
vector based on the available ephemeris in the moving object database.
- Elongation. This is the solar elongation (expressed in degrees).
- Galactic latitude. This is the galactic latitude (expressed in degrees).
- Distance from the moon in the sky. This is the angular distance (expressed in
degrees) between the target and the moon in the sky.
- Geocentric distance (Delta). For moving targets, this is the distance (expressed
in astronomical units) between the target and the Earth.
- Date of last observation. For minor planets and comets, this is the date of
the latest astrometric observation received by the Minor Planet Center.
- Observed orbital arc. For single-opposition minor planets, this is
the length of the observed orbital arc (expressed in days). For multi-oppositon minor
planets, the number of observed oppositions is given.
- Object type. This field provides a classification of the target. Fixed targets
are simply listed as "Fixed". Minor planets are classified according to their orbital
elements based on Bill Gray's simplified
classification scheme. Comets are simply classified as such.
- File. This is the name of the file in the TAO\targets
directory which contains the information about the target.
Previous: Running program Targets
Next: Preparing a list of observation requests
© 1999-2004 Paulo Holvorcem