• MPC Preparation (Info)

  • "Roving Observer" Extensions

    The use of observatory codes to indicate the site of observation is intend for frequently-visited or occasional (expedition-style) non-permanent sites. In recognition of the fact that there may be circumstances under which a telescope is transported to a temporary site for some reason for the purpose of performing minor-body astrometry and recognizing that assigning this one-time site an observing code would not be worthwhile, the MPC observation format has been extended to allow observations made at such sites to be published. Please, do not submit your astrometry as a roving observer from a permanent location/telescope - instead apply for an observatory code if you intend a regular use of the site/telescope for submission of your astrometry.

    All "roving observer" observations are represented by a single observatory code: 247. Each "roving observer" observation consists of two 80-column records. The 247 observatory code appears on both records. The first 80-column record is otherwise identical to the format for optical observations, with one minor change: column 15 contains "V". The format of the second 80-column record is described below. In 2021, a new roving observatory code (270) was created and assigned for the Unistellar network, using the same two-line format as for the observatory code 247.


    Please note that TABs must NOT be used. Columns marked as `blank' must contain spaces (ASCII 32). The format is identical for both comets and minor planets.

       Columns          Use
        1 - 12          Identical to columns 1-12 of first record
       13        A1     Blank
       14               Identical to column 14 of first record
       15        A1     'v'
       16 - 32          Identical to columns 16-32 of first record
       33        A1     '1'
       34        A1     Blank
       35 - 44   F10.6  E longitude of observing site (to an
                           appropriate number of d.p., generally to
                           4 d.p.).  Decimal point in column 38.
       45        A1     Blank
       46 - 55   F10.6  Latitude (N +ve, S -ve) of observing site,
                           (to an appropriate number of d.p.,
                           generally to 4 d.p.).  Sign in column 46,
                           decimal point in column 49.
       56        A1     Blank
       57 - 61   I5     Altitude in meters (right justified, no
                           leading zeroes, e.g., '  690', not '690  '
                           or '00690')
       62 - 77   A      Blank
       78 - 80   A3     '247'
    Longitudes and latitudes are geographic.