Guide to Minor Body Astrometry小天体天文测量指南

The English version

Copyright belong to CBAT/MPC/ICQ

The translation is unofficial and that if the
Chinese version differs from the English version, it is the English version that takes precedence.This webpage has been translated with the permission of MPC

translator: Xing Gao




翻译:高兴 2006年2月

This guide is intended for those observers interested in undertaking an astrometric CCD-observing program of minor planet and/or comets. 

This document was last updated 2006 Jan. 22. 

The following questions will be posed, then answered: 问题罗列及解答

  1. What equipment do I need? [Updated 2003 Jan. 23] 
  2. What sort of CCD should I use? 
  3. How do I make measurements? 
  4. Where should I obtain my comparison star coordinates? [Updated 2002 Sept. 18] 
  5. What corrections should I apply to the derived positions? 
  6. How do I obtain an accurate time? 
  7. What do I report? 
  8. Are there any recommendations regarding e-mail? [Updated 2004 Feb. 4] 
  9. What if I use spam-blocking systems? [Added 2005 Oct. 31]
  10. What are some common mistakes? 
  11. Can I report approximate or preliminary measures? 
  12. The observation format requires an observatory code. I don’t have a code. How do I get one? [Updated 2003 May 22] 
  13. Does my observatory code move with me? [Added 2002 Dec. 12] 
  14. Are there any restrictions on my observatory’s name? 
  15. How do I begin? [Updated 2004 Nov. 7] 
  16. How many observations should I make of each object? 
  17. What objects should I be observing?
  18. What quality of measurements should I aim to produce? 
  19. Do I need to identify objects? [Updated 2005 Oct. 31]
  20. How do I know that the Minor Planet Center has received my observations? [Updated 2003 Aug. 2] 
  21. What about batches containing observations from two or more observatory codes? [Added 2005 Oct. 31] 
  22. A message to the MPC bounced. Do I need to resend it? [Added 2004 Oct. 1] 
  23. I think I have something new. How do I get a provisional designation assigned to it? [Updated 2005 Feb. 2] 
  24. What is the difference between reporting two-nighter and single-nighter new objects? [Updated 2006 Jan. 22]
  25. Who gets credit when single nighters are linked? [Updated 2005 May 20]
  26. What objects go on to the NEOCP? 
  27. How long does it take to assign a new provisional designation? [Updated 2005 May 20] 
  28. How do I understand the designations the Center sends me? [Updated 2005 Jan. 28] 
  29. What’s the best way to follow-up a new discovery? 
  30. What about coverage on a single night? 
  31. What if I can’t follow-up a new discovery? 
  32. Should I separate my comet and minor-planet observations when submitting them? [Updated 2002 Nov. 27] 
  33. Should I check my observations before reporting them to the Center? 
  34. How quickly are observations processed by the MPC? 
  35. What’s the best way to get my discovery numbered? [Update 2002 Dec. 15] 
  36. When can I name my discovery? 
  37. What names are acceptable? 
  38. How do I write the citation and submit the name? [Added 2000 Jan. 29] 
  39. How long does it take for the name to be approved? [Added 2000 Dec. 2] 
  40. What happens to accepted observations? 
  41. What is the purpose of the contact details? 
  42. What (p)recovered objects get MPECs? [Updated 2002 December 26] 
  43. I’m interested in photometry… [Added 2003 Aug. 13] 

  1. What equipment do I need?我需要什么设备?

    Almost any type of telescope will do (reflector or refractor). You will need to know the focal length of your telescope and the physical size of your CCD’s pixels to calculate the pixel scale. Your setup should be such that the pixel scale is no greater than 2″/pixel (preferably) or 3″/pixel (at worst). In practice, your optimal pixel scale is something that you will have to determine for yourself, taking into consideration the capabilities of your telescope and CCD and the seeing at your site. If your pixel scale is much larger than the values quoted above, then the quality of the astrometry will suffer. If your pixel scale is too low for your local setup, then the signal-to-noise of the images may be low as each image is spread over a large number of pixels. 
    几乎所有类型的望远镜都可以(反射或折射等)。你必须了解望远镜的焦距以及CCD的物理像素大小以便计算像素分辨率。 按要求,你的CCD像素比例不要比2″/像素大很多,最多不超过3″/像素。事实上,考虑到望远镜、CCD及视宁度等因素,正确的像素分辨率需要实测。如果你的像素分辨率比上面要求大很多的话,那么可能导致天文测量的测量品质下降,但如果你的像素分辨率比上面要求的小很多,则会导致图片的信噪比下降,因为每个目标占据了过多的像素。
    (计算像素分辨率的公式是3600*arctan(像素大小/望远镜焦距) 译者)
    You will also need a computer to capture the images and software to perform the reductions. Most astrometry software packages use the Guide Star Catalogue, so a CD-ROM drive is also required. Various software packages are advertised in popular astronomy magazines: 

    An accurate clock/watch set to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is a must and this must be checked regularly (as a minimum, at the start of each observing session) against a reliable standard

    Access to e-mail is also important, both for reporting observations to and receiving designations from the Minor Planet Center (MPC)

  2. What sort of CCD should I use?我应该使用什么类型的CCD?

    It is not our place to recommend specific brands of CCDs. A look through any popular astronomy magazine shows that there are a variety of CCDs available. The CCD that is right for you depends on your computer system and on how much you want to spend. 

  3. How do I make measurements?我该如何测量?

    The exact details of how you will make measurements on your images and perform the reductions will depend on the software package you are using. In broad terms, you will determine pixel x,y for the centers of a number of comparison stars of known position (at least three comparison stars, preferably as many as are on the image) and the minor bodies in each image. Using these x,y measurements (determined to a fraction of a pixel) and the comparison star coordinates (taken from a suitable reference catalogue [see below]), the program should then do a least-squares plate-constants (LSPC) solution to derive the unknown coordinates of the minor bodies. Be suspicious of any package that does not do a proper LSPC solution! 
    如何准确的测量以及进行天文数据分类依赖于你所使用的软件。大体来说,你需要在每张图片中测定一些位置已知的比较星的亮度中心的像素坐标(至少三颗比较星,当然越多越好)以及小行星的像素坐标。利用这些像素坐标以及比较星的坐标(从一些合适的比较星星表[见下]获得),软件将进行一个LSPC(底片常数最小二乘法)操作来计算小行星的坐标, 很多软件做不到这一点。You should not attempt to derive positions by overlaying charts on your images or by estimating positions by eye. The accuracy of these positions will not be sufficient. 

  4. Where should I obtain my comparison star coordinates?我该从哪里获得匹配的比较星坐标?

    Most CCD fields tend to be rather small (a few tens of arcminutes wide) and this has in the past precluded the use of traditional standard astrometric catalogues. Fortunately, the situation is now much improved.

    • A newer catalogue is the USNO-SA2.0, containing over 54 million objects (intended to be stars only, although there are some non-stellar objects), extracted from the full USNO-A2.0 catalogue, with (approximately) solar colors between 16th and 19th magnitude. USNO-SA2.0 is distributed on a single CDROM. 
    • The full USNO-A2.0 catalogue, occupying ten CDROMs and containing entries for more than 526 million stars, has had a very limited distribution. Version A2.0 is also available for downloading by ftp. 

    None of the above catalogues contain proper-motion data. It is hoped that future versions of the USNO catalogue will include this information. 

    The following catalogues do contain proper-motion information, but generally contain far fewer entries than the catalogues listed above. The absolute accuracy of these catalogues is better than that of the USNO-(S)A catalogues. 

    • The Tycho 2 catalogue contains 2.5 million entries over the whole sky. 
      Tycho 2星表包括了全天250万颗恒星数据。
    • The ACT Reference Catalog contains entries for 988758 stars over the entire sky. 
      ACT Reference星表包括了全天988758颗恒星的数据。
    • The UCAC 2 (second U.S.N.O. CCD Astrograph Catalog) contains positions and proper motions for 48 million stars down to R = 16, covering the sky from the south celestial pole to mid-northern declinations. UCAC 3 (the all-sky version) is expected to be released in 2005. 
      UCAC 2(第二USNO CCD照相星表)包括了下至16等的4.8亿颗恒星的位置和自行数据,覆盖了从南天极到北半球中赤纬地区的天空,UCAC 3(全天版本)可能会在2005年出版。
    • The full USNO-B1.0 contains positional and proper motion data for more than a billion stars, occupies some 80 GB and has had a very limited distribution. The catalogue can be queried on-line. 

    Recently, versions of the some of the proper-motion-inclusive catalogues have become available from third parties in the USNO-Ax format, to allow programs that understand the USNO-Ax format to use these new catalogues without the programs requiring modification. Unfortunately, these converted versions lack the proper-motion information present in the original-format catalogues and have epochs close to the current date. It is the recommendation of the Minor Planet Center that the original-format versions be used in preference to the modified versions. If an observer insists on using the modified versions, they must be distinguished from the original version by adding “-Ax” to the catalogue name specified with the NET keywords. E.g., “NET Tycho-2” refers to the original catalogue, “NET Tycho-2-Ax” refers to the modified catalogue. 
    近来,有一些第三方的包括恒星自行数据的星表得以出版,这些星表采用USNO-Ax格式,目的是为了不更改应用USNO-Ax格式星表的软件。但不幸的是,这些更改的星表在原始格式中没有当前的自行信息,而且天文历元又很接近现在的数据。小行星中心建议最好使用原始格式。如果一些观测者坚持要求使用更改后的版本,那么你必须在NET关键字后标明“-Ax”。例如:“NET Tycho-2”表示使用Tycho-2原始版本,而“NET Tycho-2-Ax”表示使用Tycho-2的更改后的版本。

    Until quite recently, the only useable catalogue for CCD observers was the Hubble Space Telescope’s Guide Star Catalogue (GSC), that contains about 18 million objects (stars and galaxies). This has a sufficient density of comparison stars for most purposes, but the positions are known to be somewhat iffy in regions that were near the edges of the plates scanned to produce the catalogue. The GSC is distributed on two CD-ROMs. 

    It is the recommendation of the Minor Planet Center that observers who are still using the GSC as their reference catalogue should migrate to the USNO-B1.0, unless their field-of-view is large enough to contain sufficient UCAC 2 stars, in which case they should use the original form of this latter catalogue.
    小行星中心建议仍然使用GSC星表的观测者转为使用USNO-B1.0星表,除非你的拍摄区域足够大,才可以考虑使用UCAC 2星表用于获得足够的参考星数据。

    A new version of the GSC (version 2.2) has recently become available ( http://www-gsss.stsci.edu/gsc/Copy%20of%20gsc2/GSC2home.htm). It is an all-sky catalogue containing 1 billion objects derived from digitized sky-survey plates and the catalogue is claimed to be complete to at least V = 18. Proper motions are given in this version. For the brightest objects, information has simply been copied from the Tycho-2 Catalogue. At present, only Web downloads of small areas of sky appears to be possible: there is no distribution on physical media. The final version of this GSC (version 2.3) was expected in 2003 and should contain multi-epoch proper motions for all objects. 
    近来,GSC的一个新版本(2.2版)已经可用( http://www-gsss.stsci.edu/gsc/Copy%20of%20gsc2/GSC2home.htm)。这是一个包含10亿颗恒星数据的全天星表,该星表基于数字巡天DSS底片,最暗星等至少到18等,而且恒星的自行数据也包含在内。对于明亮的天体,该星表拷贝了Tycho-2星表的数据。目前只能通过互联网下载到小片区域的数据:该星表还没有通过光碟等媒介出版。该星表的最终版本——2.3将可能在2003年出版并包括多个历元的所有恒星的自行数据。

    The following sources should not be used for comparison-star coordinates: 

    • Certain planetarium-type software programs (generally on CD-ROM) that do not give the full-precision positions for GSC stars. 
    • The World Coordinate System information in the FITS headers for images in the Digital Sky Survey (whether accessed via the Web or via the highly-compressed CD-ROM version). 
    • Any B1950.0 star catalogue (e.g., SAO Catalogue).
  5. What corrections should I apply to the derived positions?对于得到的比较星表,我需要做什么样的修正?

    None! No corrections should be made by the observer for parallax and no attempt should be made to correct the UTC times of observation to Terrestrial Time (TT), the uniform timescale used in orbit computations. 

  6. How do I obtain an accurate time?我如何获得一个精确的时间?

    If you have a Java-enabled frames-capable Web browser you can obtain current UTC from the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Time Service Department. This link also contains information on programs that you can use to automatically set your computer’s clock, as well as the Network Time Protocol. Note that due to the unpredictable delays in Internet transmission such programs should be used in preference to the in-lined clock displayed by your browser when accessing this site. 
    如果你使用一个可以运行JAVA和支持框架结构的浏览器,你可以通过访问U.S. Naval Observatory’s Time Service Department获得精确的时间。 这个连接还包括一个程序来自动校准你的计算机时钟。考虑到一些不可预知的互联网延迟,当你访问该站时显示的时间要稍许延迟一些。Various radio stations around the world transmit UTC. The following table of stations is reproduced from the British Astronomical Association Handbook by kind permission of Max White. 
    全球有很多电台都播报世界时,以下一些电台的信息是从Max White所写的英国天文联合会手册中摘录的。(国内可以使用陕西天文台授时中心的短波5,10,15兆赫兹频率来校对)

    站点         呼号   频率    播报时间段    信号细节
    Station               Call   Transmission  Time of            Details of
                          Sign   Frequencies   Transmission       Signal
    Rugby, England        MSF        60        00m00s-59m59s in   Second marker 100 ms interruption of carrier wave
                                               each hour (except  Minute marker 500 ms interruption of carrier wave
                                               1000-1400 on first
                                               Tuesday of each
    Mainflingen, Germany  DCF77      77.5      continuous         Second marker 100 ms
                                                                  Minute marker 500 ms
                                                                  59s omitted
    Moscow, Russia        RWM      4996        all continuous
    Irkutsk, Russia       RID      5004        all continuous
    Liblice, Czech Rep.   OMA        50        continuous except  Second marker 100 ms interruption of carrier wave
                                               0600-1200 on first Minute marker 500 ms interruption of carrier wave
                                               Wednesday of each
    New Delhi, India      ATA      5000        1230-0330          Second marker 20 ms
                                  10000        continuous         Minute marker 100 ms
                                  15000        0330-1230          00m, 15m, 30m, 45m call sign and
                                                                  voice announcement
    Llandio, Australia    VNG      2500        continuous         Second marker 50 ms
                                   5000                           55s-58s markers 5 ms  59s omitted
                                   8368                           Minute marker 500 ms
                                  12984                           00m, 15m, 30m, 45m voice announcement
    Sanwa, Japan          JG 2AS     40        continuous except  Second marker 500 ms pulse
                          /JJF-2               35m-39m            59s 200 ms
    Taejon, S. Korea      HLA      5000        continuous         Second marker 20 ms
                                                                  Minute marker 800 ms at 1000 Hz tone
                                                                  Hour marker 800 ms at 1500 Hz tone
                                                                  Voice announcement 52s
    Fort Collins, U.S.A.  WWV      2500        continuous         Second marker 5 ms pulse (29s and 59s omitted)
                                   5000                           Minute marker 800 ms pulse
                                  10000                           Male voice announcement 52s-60s
    Kauai, Hawaii         WWVH     2500        continuous         Second marker 5 ms pulse (29s and 59s omitted)
                                   5000                           Minute marker 800 ms pulse
                                  10000                           Female voice announcement 45s-52.5s
    Ottawa, Canada        CHU      3330        continuous         Second marker 01s-28s
                                   7335                                         30s-50s
                                  14670                           Minute marker 800 ms pulse
                                                                  51s-59s voice announcement, station and time
                                                                  Long hour marker
    Caracas, Venezuela    YVTO     6100        continuous         Second marker 100 ms pulse
                                                                  52s-57s voice announcement of time
                                                                  Minute marker 500 ms pulse
                                                                  30s marker omitted

  7. What do I report?如何上报?

    There is a special format for reporting astrometric observations. Please read this document carefully and report the observations in the correct format (noting that the UTC time of observation should be reported to 0.00001 day, the R.A. to 0s.01, the Decl. to 0″.1, and that magnitudes should not be reported more precisely than 0.1 mag.). The reduction packages mentioned in question 1 should produce this format automatically. 
    这里有一个用于天文测量的专用格式。请仔细阅读该文件并按照正确的格式上报(注意,时间必须精确到0.00001天,赤经必须精确到0s.01,赤纬必须精确到0″.1,星等必须精确到0.1等)。在问题一中提到的软件将可以做到这些。Observations of both minor planets and comets, formatted as specified in the link above, should be reported via e-mail to mpc@cfa.harvard.edu

    Do not report more than one position for each time of observation! 

    When there is no trailing of the minor planet image (or you are measuring the middle of a trail) the time of observation is the mid-exposure time. If you are measuring both ends of a trail, then one end is associated with the start of the exposure, the other with the end. Alternatively, if the trail is very short, you can simply report the mid-point. However, you should not report both a trail-end and mid-point measures from the same trail. 

    Note that reported magnitudes must be derived from the individual frames: do not obtain a magnitude from one frame and then copy it on all the other observations! Also, ensure that you report the magnitudes with the astrometry: do not say “Photometry to follow”! 

    Always report positions for every moving object in your images. Do not assume that just because an object is numbered that continuing observations are not important. The inclusion of well-known objects, particularly when there are also observations of unidentified objects, serves as a useful check of the quality of your measurements. 

  8. Are there any recommendations regarding e-mail?对于使用的EMAIL有什么建议呢?

    The following guidelines should be noted with regard to any e-mail submission of observations: 

    • Observations should be reported as plain ASCII files. Do not send, e.g., UUENCODE’d or BINHEX’ed files! This is important if you are using e-mail attachements. 
    • Please ensure that your mailer does not split the 80-column observation records–many mailers, such as PINE, will automatically break a line at about 72 characters. In PINE you can avoid this problem if the observations you wish to send are in a separate file by including the file using CTRL-R, rather than by using cut and paste. 
    • If you are using a mailer that can send HTML mail, please disable the inclusion of the HTML version. Inclusion of the HTML version more than doubles the length of the e-mail and the repetition of material is completely useless. In addition, the inclusion of HTML text may trigger the MPC’s antispam e-mail filters, causing your message to be flagged as spam. 
      Information on disabling HTML e-mail for users of Outlook Express is available. Information on disabling HTML e-mail for users of many different mail clients is also available
    • Never send any kind of word-processor/DTP file! If you use a word processor or DTP package to prepare your observations, ensure that you use the package’s `Save as ASCII’ option. 
  9. What if I use spam-blocking systems?如果我使用了垃圾邮件过滤会怎么样?

    If you use any sort of spam-blocking system to sift your incoming e-mail, you are warned that it is your responsibility to ensure that e-mail from the MPC is passed unimpeded. The list of e-mail addresses that must be allowed through are autoack/mpc/autodes/des/(initial.surname) at cfa.harvard.edu. If e-mail from any of these addresses is blocked, you may not get ACKs or designation files. 
    如果你使用了垃圾邮件自动过滤,你需要自己设置来使MPC发给你的邮件不被阻止。以下单词和地址必须要允许通过[autoack/mpc/autodes/des/(initial.surname你的MPCname) 及cfa.harvard.edu] ,否则你将无法收到MPC的自动回复信件及确认信件。Note that “Allowed Sender” systems will not work with our automated routines that send out information as e-mail returned to certain addresses will bounce. 

  10. What are some common mistakes?常见错误有那些?

    A: Incorrectly-Identified Objects目标确定错误

    If you try to identify objects, ensure that the identifications are correct and that you used the packed forms of the designations in the appropriate columns of the observational records. If in doubt, use temporary designations. 

    B: Incorrect Times of Observations观测时间错误

    Ensure that the mid-points of your exposures are timed and reported correctly! The most common error by observers (and one of the trickiest to correct if the observation has already been published) is incorrect observation times (or occasionally even dates!). 

    C: Non-ASCII Submissions无ASCII码的上报

    Ensure that you send only plain ASCII e-mails. Encoded attachments will be ignored by the automated processing routines. 

    D: Incorrectly-Specified Observer Details观测者详细信息错误

    Some observers specify observer details in the form used in the MPCs. These details are usually nicely formatted, but the observation processing routines will ignore them. Observer details must be formatted in the the proper format.
    一些观测者在报告中上报了用于MPC标准的观测者详细信息。这些信息必须按照规定的格式填写,见the proper format,而观测自动处理程序将忽略这些内容。

  11. Can I report approximate or preliminary measures?我能否上报初步的或粗略的测量结果?

    No. Approximate measurements will be ignored and you will not be credited for any discovery for which you report approximate positions. Only report final astrometry–don’t report preliminary measures and then improve them. It can be time-consuming to replace the preliminary measures, particularly now that observations get published in the mid-month Minor Planet Supplements (MPS) that are issued weekly. 

  12. The observation format requires an observatory code. I don’t have a code. How do I get one?观测报告需要一个观测站编号而我没有,我该如何获得?

    An observatory code is assigned upon receipt of acceptable observations. Codes are intended for permanent observing sites. If you continually move your telescope around, you are advised to choose a permanent site before undertaking an astrometric program. It is a waste of an observatory code if only a handful of observations are ever obtained there. 
    授予观测站编号的前提是MPC能收到符合规定的观测报告。编号将授予那些永久的观测站。如果你总是四处打游击,我们建议你在上报天体测量数据前拥有一个永久的观测场地。如果你只有少数的观测报告,这对于观测站编号资源是个浪费。The observation format has been extended to allow the concept of “Roving Observers”, for use by observers at temporary sites. The format is documented elsewhere

    The first time you submit astrometric observations (see Q. 14 for details on what observations your initial batch should contain), you should report: 

    • A snail-mail address (used as a contact address on the observatory headers in the Minor Planet Circulars
    • An observatory name and site 
    • Longitude, in degrees, minutes and seconds (not decimal degrees) E of the Greenwich meridian. To avoid any possible confusion, avoid using negative longitudes. Give a longitude as either: 
  • a specific number of degrees E or W (being sure to state which direction) of the Greenwich meridian (avoid the use of negative quantities); 
  • a specific number of degrees E of Greenwich (according to the IAU convention). If a site is just west of the Greenwich meridian, give the longitude as a quantity near 360�, not as a negative quantity. 
    按照IAU惯例,使用“度 E”的表示方式,如果在西半球,请用大于180度的值表示。
  • Latitude, in degrees, minutes and seconds (not decimal degrees) N or S of the equator. 
  • Altitude (in meters above sea-level) 
  • Details of your telescope setup. 

The longitude and latitude should be specified as precisely as possible, preferably to the nearest arcsecond. Do not give more precision than is justified: it is quite acceptable to give, for example, a longitude as 1� 10′.3 E (which indicates that the longitude is good to 0′.1 = 6″) instead of as 1� 10′ 18″ E (which indicates that the longitude is good to 1″). 
地理经度和纬度要用尽量合适的精度,不要过多的增加不合适的有效位数:比如:1� 10′.3 E这样的写法(表示经度的精度到达0.1’=6″)可能比1� 10′ 18″ E这样的写法(表示经度的精度到达1″)更适合你。

It is important that the longitude and latitude that you supply are geographic coordinates, not geocentric coordinates.

It is also important that you specify COD XXX in the observation header for your initial batch. Do NOT use, for example, COD 000 or COD 999, as these are assigned codes and may cause your initial batch to be processed as if it contained observations from the code you used. Neither should you attempt to use a currently-unused code. 
同样重要的是,你需要在第一次观测报告的最前头指定COD XXX。不要使用COD 000 或 COD 999等已经授予的编号,这样会将你的观测报告错误的用在别人身上。当然也不要使用惯例不使用的编号。

A convenient way to supply the above information in a form that is preserved by the automated processing routines is to use the COM keyword. E.g.: 

COM Long. 239 18 45 E, Lat. 33 54 11 N, Alt. 100m
COM Long. 239 18 45 E, Lat. 33 54 11 N, Alt. 100m

Note that if you request an observatory code during MPC preparation time, you will experience a longer than usual delay before an observatory code is assigned. 

If you fail to supply sufficient observations in your initial batch, you will experience a longer than usual delay before an observatory code is assigned. 

  • Does my observatory code move with me?我的观测站编号是否可以随我移动?

    No, your observatory code does not move with you since observatory codes (with the exception of the “Roving Observer” and artificial satellite codes) are tied to a specific site relative to the center of the earth. If you move your observing site you have to apply for a new code. If you go and observe at a friend’s observatory, you must use his/her observatory code (applying for one if necessary) rather than using your own. 

  • Are there any restrictions on my observatory’s name?对我的观测站的名字有什么要求和限制吗?

    Yes and No. 
    是的,但也不是。No, in the sense that we cannot dictate what you choose to call your observatory. 

    Yes, in the sense that we don’t have to use your observatory’s name in the MPCs

    However, we are fairly liberal in the observatory names that we allow into the MPCs. At least two amateur-owned sites have names with connections to the popular TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Where is the dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable? This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Using a popular character from the well-known TV series The X Files as an example, “Scully Observatory” would probably be acceptable, but “ScullyIsAGoddess Observatory” wouldn’t. 
    无论如何,我们在MPCs中尽量公平自由的使用你的观测地名称。至少有两个业余天文台的名字和电视剧“星空旅行:下一代”有关。到底什么样的名字才是被认可的呢?似乎应该是一个单词。用周知的电视连续剧“X档案”做例子,”Scully Observatory”的名字是可以的,而”ScullyIsAGoddess Observatory”就不行。

  • How do I begin?我将如何开始呢?

    If you are new to astrometric observing, you should observe a number of low-numbered minor planets each on pairs of nearby nights. If weather interferes, the two nights can be some weeks apart. Report two or three observations of each object from each night: do not report single positions per night. We will check these positions and advise you on their quality. As a general rule we advise you NOT to observe very low-numbered objects–e.g., (1), (2), (51), etc.–but objects with numbers in the range (400) to (40000). In addition, you should try and observe objects of various brightnesses. If your site does not have an observatory code, one will be assigned upon acceptance of your initial submission. Note that it is important that your initial batch contains two nights of observation of more than one numbered minor planet. If you submit only single-night measures or two-night measures of a single object, your initial batch will not be processed until further observations are forthcoming. 
    如果你是天体测量的新手,你应该先在尽量相邻的晚上连续观测一些有正式编号的且编号比较靠前的(也就是相对比较明亮的)小行星。如果天气情况不允许,这两个晚上的数据可以相隔几个星期。对每个目标,每晚观测两到三个位置点:不要对一个目标只观测一个位置坐标点。我们将核实这些观测。通常,我们建议不要观测编号太靠前的小行星,比如 (1), (2), (51),等等,而应该观测编号在 (400)到(40000)之间的小行星。另外,你应该尽量去观测各种不同亮度的目标。如果你的观测地还没有获得MPC观测站编号,那么在这个你的第一次的上报中,我们将允许你自己新确定一个观测地编号。注意,你的第一次上报必须报告多于一个目标,每个目标必须有两晚的观测数据,这非常重要!如你只上报一个目标,或只有一个夜晚的数据,我们将不处理你的报告,直到受到你的进一步报告。You should not start by observing fast-moving objects! It is important that you gain experience by observing “routine” objects before attempting to observe “unusual” objects. We also expect you to prove that you can produce good astrometry of known objects before you begin to discover new objects. 

    Even if you interested only in comets, it is advisable that you follow these guidelines for your initial batch. In general, comets are harder to measure than minor planets. If we have a new observer reporting comet observers of bad or indifferent quality we do not know if it is simply a problem due to the comet (big, bright difficult-to-measure image) or a problem with the measurement/reduction process. If we have received minor planets from a new observer in the initial batch, we will have already have determined that the measurement/reduction process is acceptable. 

  • How many observations should I make of each object?对每个目标,我需要做多少次的观测?

    It is most efficient to make two or three observations (over a period of an hour or so) per object per night. Observations of specific objects are best made on pairs of nearby nights as the accuracy of isolated single-night observations can be difficult to judge. By observing on pairs of nights any ambiguity is removed. 
    每晚对每个目标进行两到三次观测(大约跨越前后1个小时)是比较有效的。 对于特殊目标,最好观测连续两晚,因为两个各自孤立的观测数据的准确程度将很难判断。如果连续观测的两晚,这样的数据就比较明确。You should not make only one observation of each object per night. Neither should you make many more than three observations per objects per night–it is a waste of your time and rarely helps the orbit solution. 

    However, to make observations of a new discovery in groups many hours apart on a single night can be useful, particularly in the case of an newly-discovered object that may be close to the earth. 

    For multi-opposition objects the preferable regimen of observing is observations on pairs on night in each dark run around each opposition until the object is numbered. 

    See also… 

  • What objects should I be observing?什么样的目标需要观测?

    Those observers who wish some guidance on what objects to observe are advised to check out the monthly lists of unusual objects, comets and critical-list numbered minor planets that appear on the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars
    我们建议你访问 Minor Planet Electronic Circulars,那里每月会罗列出一些不寻常的目标、彗星以及获得正式编号的小行星批评列表。Some observers have set up their own web pages, generally to encourage follow-up their own discoveries. Such sites are collected together here

    Ephemerides for minor planets can be generated using the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service
    使用 Minor Planet Ephemeris Service可以得到小行星的星历表。

  • What quality of measurements should I aim to produce?对于测量质量有什么要求?

    Astrometry is a field where bad measures are generally of little or no use. It is important that observers can consistently produce observations with a consistency of <1″ for observations using the same comparison stars, and a night-to-night consistency limited only by the comparison star catalogue. 

  • Do I need to identify objects?我需要鉴别被测量的目标吗?

    Strange as it may sound, no. The checking procedures of the MPC are most efficient when observers do not try to identify objects, except as described in the following sentence. Note that observations of NEOCP objects should always be tagged with their NEOCP designations and observations of designated NEOs and comets should be tagged with their provisional or permanent designations, as should the initial observations made in support of an observatory code request. 
    听起来很奇怪,不需要。MPC的自动检测程序是非常有效的,观测者不必要来鉴别自己上报的目标,除非有以下所说的这几种情况。注意,在NEOCP里已经给过NEOCP临时编号的以及已经给过临时编号的NEO及彗星应该使用它们的临时编号或永久编号。对于首次上报,需要先申请观测地编号。However, every reported observation should have a designation. If you don’t know the designation of a particular object, or are not bothering to identify objects, use an observer-assigned temporary designation. 

    • Observations of the same object on different nights should be given the same temporary designation only if they reported in the same message and you are absolutely positive that all the nights refer to the same object. Correspondences of observer-assigned temporary and MPC-assigned provisional designations will be reported back to the observer via e-mail. 
    • Observer-assigned temporary designations should be unique–don’t call everything `X’! 
    • Observer-assigned temporary designations should be six characters or less long, and begin in column 6 of the observational record. 
    • Observer-assigned temporary designations should not be of the form of the packed or unpacked designations used by the MPC. Note that this now includes the form single letter followed by four digits.
    • Do not continue to use your observer-assigned designations once official provisional or permanent designations have been assigned. 
  • How do I know that the Minor Planet Center has received my observations?我如何知道小行星中心认可了我的观测数据?

    Upon receipt of a batch of observations, we send an automatic acknowledgement back to you. E-mail is not perfect and messages do sometimes get lost. If you do not receive the acknowledgement within 24 hours you should resend the original message, noting in the subject line that the message is a retransmission (ensuring your subject line contains `RESEND’ is a good way). Further communication will only occur if we need to send you designations or there is a problem with your observations. Information on how to personalize the acknowledgement is available
    收到你的上报,我们会自动回复一个认可信,由于EMAIL并不完全稳定,有时信息会丢失,所以你24小时内没有收到回复,请再发一次你的报告,并在标题里注明(最好在标题里包括`RESEND’这个单词)。The acknowledgement now contains a ‘junk’ rating for the message that was submitted. The junk rating is the percentage of the submitted message that was not useful (i.e., material that was not observational records, observational header or e-mail header). Many messages arrive with junk ratings of more than 50 percent (in some cases, more than 90 percent!). If you get a poor junk rating, you should examine what you are actually sending and try and cut out some of the junk that some PC mailers seem to insert. 

    Note also that the acknowledgement is automatic and simply informs you that we have received your message. It says nothing about the formatting of the observations contained therein or their quality. 

  • What about batches containing observations from two or more observatory codes?如果观测包含两个或更多的观测站编号该如何处理?

    If you want to submit observations from two or more observatory codes in the same message, you must group each site’s observations under an observational header appropriate for the site. A representation of an example follows: 

    COD 608
    OBS ...
    MEA ...
    ... Rest of header ...
    Observations from code 608
    COD 644
    OBS ...
    MEA ...
    ... Rest of header ...
    Observations from code 644

    Failure to format the message as shown above will result in the batch being rejected by the automated routines. 

  • A message to the MPC bounced. Do I need to resend it?上报被MPC退回,我需要再次上报吗?

    Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. 
    也许是,也许不需要。It all depends on the source of the bounceback message. mpc@cfa is an e-mail alias that forwards incoming messages to five different user accounts: four are personal e-mail accounts of MPC staff members; the fifth is the e-mail account for the AUTOACK procedure (the automated routine that sends out acknowledgements and that extracts messages into the processing queues). 

    You should resend your message if the bounceback indicates that autoack@scully or mpc@cfa is the source of the failure. If the mpc@cfa address has failed, you should resend your batch to autoack@scully.cfa.harvard.edu. 
    如果autoack@scully 或mpc@cfa地址出现解析错误,你应该重新上报。如果mpc@cfa地址出现问题,你应该直接向autoack@scully.cfa.harvard.edu重新上报。

    You do not need to resend your message if the bounceback comes from any other e-mail address. 

  • I think I have something new. How do I get a provisional designation assigned to it?我认为我发现了新目标,我如何获得临时编号呢?

    New provisional designations are assigned to newly-reported objects that cannot be identified with a known numbered, multi-opposition unnumbered or recently-discovered one-opposition (with or without a general orbit) minor planet. 
    如果你上报的目标不是一个有永久编号的小行星或多冲日但未给永久编号或刚发现了一个冲日的目标(无论是不是常见的轨道),你将可以获得一个临时编号。New designations are assigned upon the receipt of observations from two nights (but see elsewhere). The two nights should be fairly close together, certainly within a week of each other. See the note on the required coverage on each night. You may use the on-line New Object Ephemeris Generator to generate ephemerides to enable you to find the object after the first night. 

    If there are a number of observers involved at a particular site and assignment of credit for the discovery of particular objects is important, ensure that the observer-assigned temporary designations reflect the names of the discoverers. For example, at a particular site there are three observers–Byers, Frohike and Langly. Objects discovered by Byers alone are reported with temporary designations beginning By (e.g., By0001), objects discovered by Byers and Langly jointly by designations beginning BL or ByLa (e.g., BL0001 or ByLa01). Similarly, designations beginning FrLa indicate objects discovered by Frohike and Langly. 
    如果在一个站点有好几个人参与发现并要求区别他们的发现,那么请在定义自己的临时编号的时候做适当的区别来反映出不同的观测者。比如,在一个观测站有三个人——Byers,Frohike和Langly。如果Byers独立发现了目标可以用By0001这样的临时编号来上报,如果是Byers 和Langly共同发现的,那么可以用BL0001或ByLa01之类的以BL或ByLa开头的临时编号。同样的,你可以用FrLa开头的临时编号表示是由Frohike和Langly共同发现的。

    It is preferred that discoveries are made by a single individual, although discoveries by pairs of discoverers are accepted. Claims for discoveries of specific objects by three or more discoverers are treated as site discoveries, where no individuals are named as the discoverer. An exception to this is allowed for discoveries of TNOs, where up to four individuals may be listed, recognizing the difficulty of obtaining sufficient observations of these (typically very) faint objects. 

    If your new object (observed on two or more nights) can be matched to an earlier undesignated one-night stand, that one-night stand does not have priority and you will receive the credit for the discovery. If your new object can be matched to an earlier designated one-night stand (generally this will be a redesignation from a published two-night object), your new object will also have priority. 

  • What is the difference between reporting two-nighter and single-nighter new objects?对于新目标,上报单晚数据和两晚数据有什么不同呢?

    If you report “new” objects as two nights of observation in a single message, those observations are passed straight to the designating routines once it has been determined that they do not belong to some already-known object. 
    如果你在一次上报中报了一个新目标的两个晚上的数据,且该报告经过核实后报告的不是已知的目标,那么,这个报告将直接发送到相关程序并授予临时编号。Note that if you have used data from some other observer in order to make your two nights of observation, you are considered to be doing follow-up on behalf of that other observer and you are expected to indicate this fact in your message. 

    If you report “new” objects as single nighters, once it is has been determined that they do not belong to some already-known object, the observations are passed to routines that try to link the observations to other recent single-nighter objects. Only if a link is found do the observations get passed to the designating routines (although they first again go through the checking routines). 

    Note that if the automatic processing routines (APRs) determine that the two nights attributed by an observer to a presumed single object do not in fact appear to belong to the same object, the observations of that object will be returned to the observer and will not get processed further. This splitting of nights may occur if the APR determine that the two nights do not belong to the same object or if the observations are of such low-quality that the validity of the night-to-night linkage cannot be guaranteed. 

  • Who gets credit when single nighters are linked?如果你的单晚数据和别人的数据有联系,谁将被认证?

    If one of your single nighters is linked to someone else’s single nighter, the credit for the discovery is given to the chronologically earliest observation. If earlier undesignated observations are subsequently located (these will often be isolated observations), the discovery credit does not change. 
    如果你的某个单晚数据和别人的单晚数据联系起来了,认证将给予最先发现的报告。如果最早的曾经没有授予临时编号的那个观测是随后得到证实的,认证仍然不改变。Note that this linking process requires the earlier observations to be of good quality (the automated routines currently reject linkages where one or more observations appear to be off by 1″.5 or more). 

  • What objects go on to the NEOCP?什么样的目标将继续出现再NEOCP(近地小行星等待确认网页)

    The objects that go on to the NEO Confirmation Page are those objects which, on the basis of their motion or orbit, appear to be NEOs. Objects that are suspected of being comets also appear. 
    出现在NEOCP上的目标一般从运动和轨道来看是近地小行星,如果怀疑是彗星也会出现在NEOCP。When removed from the NEOCP, the objects that get put on to MPECs are as follows: 

    • Any object with perihelion distance less than 1.3 AU 
    • Any object with an perihelion distance beyond 5.5 AU 
    • “Main-belt” objects with inclinations above 40 degrees 
    • “Main-belt” objects with eccentricities above 0.5 

    In the past, objects with perihelia beyond 1.3 AU and eccentricities between 0.4 and 0.5 might appear on an MPEC if there was not much activity. This was deemed to be somewhat arbitrary (particularly in light of the fact that the major surveys were counting how many discovery MPECs they had!), therefore the lower limit for inclusion was raised to 0.5.

    If it turns out that an NEOCP object is identical to an object that has already received a provisional designation that has been published in the MPCs and the MPSs (i.e., the permanent publications), the observations that have already been published are not republished on the MPEC announcing the object (i.e., a temporary publication). Such cases are indicated by the lack of a discovery asterisk amongst the listed observations and the use of ‘Additional observations’ as a heading, rather than ‘Observations’.
    如果新发现的NEOCP目标是一个已经发布在MPCsMPSs 上,有过临时编号的目标,那么该目标将不再被再次发布再MPEC上(或其他临时出版物)。其中原因是因为代表首次发现的*符号只能用一个,而我们会在前面用“附加观测报告”的形式做说明。

  • How do I understand the designations the Center sends me?我如何理解小行星中心给我的确认编号信?

    If you have `new’ objects you will receive a list matching your temporary designations to official provisional or permanent designations. Here is a (ficticious) sample assumed to have been sent in Feb. 1999, showing most of the probable forms: 
    如果你有一个新发现,你将收到一个你的编号和MPC所给的临时或永久编号的对应。 以下是一个例子,假定发生在1999年2月:

       By0001   (03244
       ByLa01    J99A18T
       ByLa02   (J81U78A
       By0004   (By0003
       By0003   (J99A08H

    This may be interpreted as follows: By0001 is the numbered object (3244); ByLa01 is a new object 1999 AT18 that is credited to Byers and Langly; ByLa02 is the known unnumbered object 1981 UA78; By0003 and By0004 refer to the same object, now designated 1999 AH8, which is a recent discovery by another team. 
    以上例子的意思是:By0001是一个已经得到永久编号的小行星(3244);ByLa01是一个新发现,已经授予临时编号1999 AT18,发现权归Byers和Langly;ByLa02是一个已知的获得过临时编号1981 UA78的小行星;By0003和By0004是同一个目标,不久前才被别人发现,临时编号为1999 AH8。In short, provisional and permanent designations not prefaced with `(‘ are your discoveries. Provisional and permanent designations will be in the packed form, as used on the observation record. 

    New designations are not assigned to objects observed on only one night, although you may receive designations if such objects can be identified with already-known objects. 

    Observers with at least one discovery credit may request the (roughly) monthly receipt of a DISCSTATUS report, which lists their discoveries, as well the current disposition of each object. Requests to be added to the mailing list for DISCSTATUS reports should be made to the normal submission address (subject line should be “DISCSTATUS” and the message should indicate to which e-mail address the report is to be mailed). 

  • How long does it take to assign a new provisional designation?确认一个新的发现需要多长时间?

    The time delay between your submission of “new” objects and your receipt of the designations corresponding or newly-assigned to your objects is variable. If things are relatively quiet at the MPC, you may receive designations back within a matter of minutes. In other cases, it may be more than 24 hours or more before you receive anything. 
    时间的长短决定于你上报的新目标数据对应的好坏以及认证的优先级别。如果MPC的工作人员相对比较清闲,那么你可能会在几分钟内获得临时编号。否则,你可能会等待24小时或更长的时间。Note that objects that are placed on the NEO Confirmation Page will not be assigned designations until they are removed from the page. 

    If observations are received at the MPC before 4 p.m. local time, we try, but cannot guarantee, to assign new designations that same day. 

    Note that all newly-assigned designations are provisional: they are only finalised when the observations are published in the next MPS batch. Each month a number of newly-assigned designations are retracted before the observations are published: such designations are flagged as being “omitted”. 

  • What’s the best way to follow-up a new discovery?发现一个新目标后最佳的持续观测是什么?

    After the initial two nights, wait for a week or ten days, then obtain another pair of nights a day or two apart (ephemerides can be generated using the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service). There really is no point in following a new object night after night. Further observations can then be made between fifteen and twenty days after discovery (if the Moon permits). Further pairs of nights of observations can be obtained in following months for as long as the object is visible and remains unidentified. 
    在初始的两晚观测后,等待一周或10天,再获取另一对连续夜晚的观测或两个分离的夜晚的观测(可以使用 Minor Planet Ephemeris Service计算星历表)。没必要每晚都去观测它。如果月光允许,延续观测可在发现后的15到20天内完成。进一步的连续两晚的延续观测可以在之后的几个月继续进行直到这个目标还可以被找到并且没有给正式编号。See also… 

  • What about coverage on a single night?在一个晚上的观测数据中至少要延续多长的观测时间?

    You should always supply at least two observations of each object on each night. If you are observing objects in dense starfields, you should plan your observing session with this recommendation in mind. 
    你应该对一个目标每晚至少观测两个点,如果你观测恒星密集区,请注意安排好你的观测计划和间隔。Note that for new objects, it is imperative that you get at least 30 minutes of coverage on each of the nights. As a general rule, the MPC will not assign designations to MB objects observed on only two nights where the coverage on one or both nights is less than 15 minutes. 

  • What if I can’t follow-up a new discovery?如果我无法对我发现的新目标持续观测该如何办?

    If you observe an object on one night and are not able to obtain a second night within a week or so, you should report these “One-Night Stands”. 
    如果你观测到一个目标,但只能获得一晚,在一周左右的时间内无法获得第二晚的数据,你应该用”One-Night Stands”上报。The observations will be subject to the normal checking procedures of the Minor Planet Center but will be published only if they can be identified with some already-designated object. They are then checked against recent one-night stands. If a match is found the object can receive a designation. The discovery will be credited to the earlier observation: if earlier undesignated observations are then identified, the discovery credit does not change. If no match is forthcoming, the one-night stand observations are filed. These files are checked regularly against new orbits and matches are extracted and published under the already-assigned designation. 

    If you wish someone else to follow-up your new discovery, you should use the New Object Ephemeris Generator to generate ephemerides to enable your colleague to find the object after the first night. 

    If someone does follow-up for your new objects, you will get credit for the discovery even if you have obtained only one night’s observations. However, there is nothing preventing your colleague from getting two nights on your new object and then reporting it to us as a new object. In such a case, credit will be given to your colleague. For this reason, you should not distribute observations of the new object and you should only send ephemerides to colleagues that you trust. 

  • Should I separate my comet and minor-planet observations when submitting them?在上报的时候,我是否需要将彗星和小行星测量数据分开上报?

    The automated processing routines now in use at the MPC have recently been rewritten. The assignment of different types of objects to various queues for processing is automatic and based on the orbit corresponding to the designation assigned to each observation. Observations of different types of objects may now be freely mixed. 
    MPC的自动处理程序已经被重写。 不同类型的目标现在可以一起上报了,不同的目标将按照不同的轨道特性做区别处理并授予不同的编号。It is recommended, however, that if you are reporting a possible new NEO, that you include “NEOCP” in the subject line of your e-mail (alternatives are “NEO” or “FMO”). Possible new comets (that are not on the NEOCP) should have “COMET” in the subject line. Similarly, use “TNO” or “SAT” for batches containing observations of potential new TNOs or natural satellites. 

  • Should I check my observations before reporting them to the Center?在上报之前,我是否需要核对我的测量数据?

    Observer checking does not need to be anything more than checking that what you actually send is what you meant to send! Checking of designations, observation dates and times, positions and the format is advisable. We do notrecommend that you check the residuals of your observations before submitting them. 
    观测者仅仅需要核对的就是你所提交的报告。检查编号,观测时间和日期,地点,有效的上报格式。我们不建议你在上报前核对你的测量误差。If observers decide to check the residuals for known objects prior to submission, they are advised to use the consistency of the residuals (particularly night-to-night), rather than the size of them, as the discriminator for rejecting observations. 

    A careful observer with normal equipment is quite capable of obtaining nightly measures that are consistent to within a few tenths of a second of arc. 

  • How quickly are observations processed by the MPC?MPC处理我的观测数据一般需要多长时间?

    In general, observation batches are processed by the MPC as soon as resources are available, in the order in which the observation batches were received. In order to utilise the resources of the MPC in the most efficient manner, different priorities are attached to the processing of different classes of observation. Processing priority is in the following order: 

    1. “New” FMOs, comets and potential NEOs/unusual objects, suitable for posting on the NEO Confirmation Page.
    2. Follow-up observations of NEOCP objects.
    3. Other NEO observations.
    4. Survey observations from last night and recent non-survey material.
    5. Older non-survey material.
    6. Survey observations from before last night.

    Observations that are not submitted in the proper format are subject to delay. 

    Note that the different processing classes are dealt with at different rates. This should not affect the order in which “new” objects are processed. 

  • What’s the best way to get my discovery numbered?让我发现的小行星获得正式编号的最佳方法是什么?

    The first requirement for getting your discovery numbered is to ensure that the observations at the discovery opposition cover a sufficient arc to enable recovery at a subsequent or previous opposition. 
    首要条件是你的发现应该覆盖足够的轨道角度从而可以在之前或之后的冲日中找到它。Once identified (or recovered as a result of a direct search), observations should be made on pairs on nights in each of two darkruns surrounding each opposition until the object is numbered. For main-belt objects this can occur after the object has been observed on two or more nights at four oppositions (although this depends on the number and distribution [preferably two nights in each of two dark runs at each opposition] of the observations as well as their quality); NEOs can receive a number after two or three well-observed oppositions. In addition, objects to be numbered require the uncertainty parameter, U, must be less than or equal to two. 

    The selection of objects for numbering is an automatic process performed just before the preparation of each batch of MPCs. There is no need to ask us “What do I need to do to get such-and-such numbered?”. Simply follow the guideline above and the object will be numbered when it is ready. Objects that are ready for numbering are selected by an automatic procedure shortly before the preparation of each batch of MPCs

  • When can I name my discovery?我什么时候可以为我的发现命名?

    Names for minor planets are proposed by the discoverer of a specific object after the object is numbered. Proposals are accompanied by a brief citation explaining the reasons for the naming. 
    当你的小行星被授予正式编号后,你就可以提议对该天体命名。提议中你需要以摘要的形式写明命名的原因。Proposed names are judged by the fifteen-member Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the International Astronomical Union. Except in very unusual circumstances, new names may not be assigned until a minimum of two months have elapsed since the objects were numbered. If the CSBN has objections to the name or the accompanying citation, this process can take much longer. 

    Names become official when they are published in the Minor Planet Circulars. Note that the CSBN condemns the preannouncement of names, even if any such preannouncement indicates that a name is only a proposal. 

    When several provisional designations belong to the same numbered minor planet, one of these provisional designations is defined as the prinicipal designations (this is decided when the object is first identified) and it is the discoverer of this principally-designated object that is defined as the discoverer of the numbered object. 

    An alphabetical list of current minor planet names is available. A list of the discovery circumstances of the numbered minor planets is available. 

  • What names are acceptable?什么样的名字是可以被认可的?

    There are prohibitions against suggesting names of individuals, places or events with military or political connections unless at least 100 years have passed since the individual died or the event occurred. This means that names from the 20th century’s two World Wars are not yet acceptable. Names that are offensive are also disallowed. 
    不允许用与军事或政治相关的人、事件或地点命名,除非它们已经超过100年的历史或人物已经去世100年以上。比如第二次世界大站中的历史人物就不可以被命名。带有攻击性或无理的名称也是不允许的。Other than those restrictions, almost any other type of name is acceptable. 

    Names should not be too similar to an existing name. In order to check whether your proposed name (or one very similar) has been used already, consult the the alphabetical list of minor-planet names and use your browser’s ‘Find’ facility.

    Names should preferably be one word. For individuals, use the surname (family name) if possible. If you run two or more parts of a individual’s name together to make the name, do not use mid-word capitalization. Proposers should remember that names of minor planets are not the same as the names of people. Ideally, if a name is to honor a person, it should simply “suggest” that person, in a manner that is as unobtrusive as possible. 

    Please remember that the purpose of naming minor planets is for identification, not commemoration. 

  • How do I write the citation and submit the name?我该如何写申请命名报告?

    Each new name proposal from a discoverer of a numbered minor planet is accompanied by a brief citation, describing why the particular name is being bestowed. Citations should be brief and to the point. A four-line limit (as printed in the MPCs) on the body of each citation has been imposed. Avoid making political, controversial or posturing statements in the citation. 
    没个被发现者命名的编号小行星都应该有一段概述,用以描述该小行星的名字为何被如此命名。概述必须简单扼要说明问题,不能超过4行以便MPCs发布。在申请中避免使用政治的、有争议的或声明等等叙述。Note that the CSBN reserves the right to edit the citation for publication. 

    There is a special format for submitting names. This format is necessary to expedite processing of the proposal. The first line consist of an “index entry” containing the proposed name, the number of the object to which the name is to be applied and a very short summary of the citation. Then follows a blank line. Then the citation in the form that it will appear in the MPCs. Single name proposals or batches of proposals should be e-mailed to mpc@cfa.harvard.edu

    The index line can extend to column 80, but the other lines should not go beyond column 78. Lines should have ragged-right margins (i.e, do not right-justify the lines), neither should words be hyphenated across line breaks. Submitted files should be plain ASCII: do not send any kind of WP/DTP/HTML file! Diacritical marks should be indicated in the TeX format
    第一行可以扩展写到第80列,但其他行最多不能超过78列。每行的右边并不需要对齐,也不要使用单词连字符分割单词换行。申请文件需要使用无格式的ASCII文件:不要使用任何形式的WP/DTP/HTML文件!附加及特殊符号的写法见TeX format

    This is best illustrated with a couple of examples from the batch of names in the 2000 Jan. 24 batch of MPCs (the column ruler at the top is simply to show you where the entries in the index line fall: e.g., the index description begins in column 31 and the number ends in column 27): 

             1         2         3         4         5         6         7         8
    Flagsymphony           6582   Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra
    (6582) Flagsymphony = 1981 VS
         Discovered 1985 Nov. 5 by E. Bowell at the Anderson Mesa Station of
    the Lowell Observatory.
         The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 50th season in
    1999-2000.  It is considered by many to be the best symphony orchestra in
    a small community in the U.S.A.
    Baton Rouge           11739   Louisiana state capital
    (11739) Baton Rouge = 1998 SG27
         Discovered 1998 Sept. 25 by W. R. Cooney, Jr. and M. Collier at Baton
         Baton Rouge, the Louisiana state capital, is located on the banks of
    the Mississippi river and derives its name, French for ``red stick'', from
    an Indian marker at the site seen by a French expedition in 1699.  The
    city is home to the Highland Road Park Observatory, where this minor planet
    was discovered.

    When printed in the MPCs the example citations above took up 2.2 and 3.8 lines, respectively.
    当它们被发布在MPCs上的时候,以上的说明分别引用了2.2行和3.8行。It there are multiple names being proposed at the same time, each index-citation block is separated from other blocks by a blank line, as in the example above. 

    Submitted citations are subject to editing. 

  • How long does it take for a name to be approved?命名被认可需要多长时间?

    Typically, new batches of minor-planet names appear in alternate batches of Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs). Batches of new name proposals are sent to the CSBN every two months. All accepted names from the batches sent to the committee will appear in the next batch of MPCs. There is no set deadline for submitting names. If you want a name to appear in a particular MPC batch you should submit the name at least ten weeks in advance. Note that appearance in any particular batch cannot be guaranteed, especially if there are problems with the name or citation. 
    典型的,新命名的小行星不断出现在Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs)上。申请命名的报告每两个月往CSBN提交一次。所有被认可的命名 发布在下一批的MPCs上。申请命名没有时间限制,如果你打算在某期MPCs上出现你申请的命名,你至少需要提前10周提出申请。我们不保证你的申请会在哪一批的MPCs上出现,尤其是在名称或说明上如果还存在问题的话。

  • What happens to accepted observations?观测数据被接受后会发生什么?

    Observations are published in the monthly Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs) (and on the occasional Minor Planet Electronic Circulars). Early observations of new comets may be published in the International Astronomical Union Circulars
    观测报告会发布在每月出版的上Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs)(偶尔也会出现在Minor Planet Electronic Circulars上)。 新彗星的早期观测报告可能会发布在International Astronomical Union Circulars上。From time to time, the question arises as to whether inclusion of observations in the MPCs can be construed as publication in the `refereed’ astronomical literature. The Minor Planet Center stresses most emphatically that astrometric observations of comets and minor planets submitted for publication in the MPCs are indeed subjected to close, critical study, and that erroneous observations are returned to their authors for amendment. Particular care is taken to ensure that all observations presented are correctly identified. The MPCs are designed specifically to handle the publication of astrometric observations of comets and minor planets and there is no need also to publish in other journals. 
    有时,有问题问在MPCs上发布的观测数据是否可以作为天文参考文献被引用。小行星中心对在发布在 MPCs上的关于彗星和小行星的观测数据很有信心,可以完全用于任何严谨的科学研究,错误的观测报告在发布前已经退回给作者并要求改正。MPCs发布的关于彗星和小行星的天文观测数据都经过仔细的确认,也没有必要在其他刊物上重新发布。

  • What is the purpose of the contact details?要求填写详细联系方式的目的是什么?

    The contact details as published in the MPCs for each observatory code are intended as a contact point for persons with queries regarding a specific program. The contact address does not have to be the street address of the observatory. For professional programs it should be noted that the contact details are NOT intended to be a list of P.I.s on the project. 
    在MPCs中公布了每个观测站的详细联系方式以方便对该观测报告有疑问或兴趣的人直接取得联系。详细联系地址并不需要详细到街道。对于专业的项目,可以不必写清具体的地址。The contact details MUST include:

    • the name of a person connected with the program (who is willing to answer queries about the presented observations)
    • a snail-mail address for that person (this can be a P.O. Box)
    • an e-mail address for that person

    Information on how to specify the contact address (as well as names of observers and measurers) is available.

  • What (p)recovered objects get MPECs?重复发现或前期发现将如何在MPEC被确定?

    In order to qualify for a special MPEC, (p)recovered NEAs must have been observed on two or more nights. Single-night (p)recoveries will simply appear on the next DOU MPEC (assuming that the observations actually fit). 
    为了获得一个特殊的MPEC,重复发现或前期发现的近地小行星必须观测两晚或更多晚的数据。单晚的数据将仅出现在下一次的DOU MPEC上(如果数据确实吻合)。Precovery refers to the identification of images of a single-apparition object at an earlier opposition.

  • I’m interested in photometry…我对光度测定有兴趣,那么……

    A good guide to minor planet photometry is available from Brian Warner
    这里有个很好的小行星光度测量指南,作者是Brian Warner。