Neo Planner V2.3 -
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With comets y/n:
Select here whether you want to include comets in the planning or not.
Neo Planner calculates observation times in R.A. order of
currently visible comets according to the official publication of the MPC and
additionally the most recently observed comets from
The reason for including the
CometasObs observations lies in the sometimes
considerable delay of the MPC in the publication of the last observations.
More information on the inclusion of comets in the planning
process can be found here.
NEO from year:
NEO with provisional designations are
always included in the planning. Enter the starting year of designations of objects
not yet numbered.
These objects have not yet been finally numbered and require
further follow-up observations. Recently discovered NEO, in particular,
require further observation to improve their orbital elements.
The uncertainty factor U plays a special role in the orbital elements. Objects
with a U factor of 3 or greater cannot be safely recovered in coming orbits.
U = 0 is the best value.
It is therefore a special and valuable task for amateurs to help improve the
orbital elements of the NEO.
NEO to year:
Enter the final year of designations of objects not yet numbered.
With numbered asteroids y/n:
Numbered objects are not in
the foreground of the observation priorities. However, there may be reasons for
observing objects whose orbit is very well known.
In the case of numbered NEOs such as 99944 Apophis or other asteroids that are
passing very close to Earth, there may well be an interest in tracking such NEOs.
In particular, to make meaningful videos for presentation purposes or for other
reasons, it can make perfect sense also to follow such objects.
In addition, around the full moon there is a good opportunity for diligent
observers to include numbered NEOs in the list to compensate for the lack of
That is why NEO Planner offers the option of including numbered
objects in the selection.
In order to organize the performance of the planning process and
the access to various servers within a reasonable framework, numbered objects
can only be included to a limited extent.
This restriction is implemented by including the parameter 'days since last
orbit update' from the 'Object selection' area of the settings.
The parameter controls until how many days in the past the last updates of the
MPC for new orbital elements happend and include those in the planning.
Example: If you enter 10 as the parameter value, only those objects will be
included for which a new orbit has been published since
the last 10 days.
Around full moon nights I personally increase my value to 99 and
include numbered asteroids in my selection. Later I switch it back to 10
and deselect numbered asteroids..
With own object list y/n:
Depending on the interest, the observer can create his
own object list with
any asteroids, which can be included in the planning selection area.
Application examples are the self-discovered numbered asteroids, which mostly
come from the main belt, or discovered objects that are not yet numbered.
With the help of this function, a previously popular follow-up list of your own
objects is no longer necessary.
These objects are included in the planning
process and taken into account in the final list,
if the selection was successful according to the settings parameters.
Execute start time in hours and minutes::
If you enter "auto", the local start time of the planning is determined from the
current GeoSetting data. First the current sunset and sunrise times are loaded.
Then the offset times from the common restrictions settings are used to
calculate the start and end times. In the Revise planning display, this data is
displayed as observation slot start and end times.
The calculated start time is used when planning the observation of the first
object. If you want a later start time for the first object, a local time
between 3:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. can be entered here.
The times of all following objects are then adjusted accordingly.
three brightness parameters are read from the setting file and also updated
there when changes are made in the Execute Window.
All NEOCP object with V = -30 to xx.x:
Confirming NEOCP objects is both a motivation and a challenge. Experience has
shown that observers pay special attention to these objects.
The confirmation of new objects, but also the follow-up observation, is
important in order to allow as many measurements as possible to flow into
calculation of the orbital elements for a retrieval in later orbits.
All NEO with V = -30 to xx.x::
As a rule, every NEO observer has experience with the maximum NEO observable for
him in relation to their brightness and should therefore enter his personal
experience value here.
NEO Planner will therefore only select those objects whose Vmag values are
numerically below the settings value.
The apparent speed does not play a role at this point
when considering the maximum usable brightness.
The following model is used to select the NEO:
First it is checked whether the Vmag of the ephemeris
is maximum 0.4 mag weaker than the limit value in the
settings. If so, the object will continue to be considered.
Second, if the apparent speed in the ephemeris is less
than 100.00 s / min, the average Vmag of the last 10 observations is used for
the selection of the object,
otherwise the Vmag of the ephemeris.
The reason for taking into account the apparent speed at the time of the
ephemeris is a possible strong
change in the Vmag compared to previous observations..
At speeds over 100 seconds / minute at the time of the ephemeris
we always use MPC's
designated Vmag of the ephemeris for selection.
Otherwise fast objects might not be taken into account.
In additon, during the calculation of the exposure times,
the selected NEO are subjected to a special Vmag
See the explanations for the
revise button in the Preparation / Execute Planning tab
All Comets with V = -30 to xx.x::
With comets, compared to NEO, you have to apply slightly different standards
with regard to the Vmag selection. Since comets usually appear spotty on the CCD
the maximum usable brightness should be set somewhat higher than with NEO. In
addition, comets move at far greater distances from the Earth,
which largely excludes a significant change in measured brightness.
29P SCHWASSMANN/WACHMANN with its regularly occurring
outbursts in brightness is certainly an exception here just like
outbreaks in other comets,
but is generally not taken into account.
The real brightness of comets is actually often very different from the
brightness we find in the ephemeris of the MPC.
Therefore to calculate the exposure
times, NEO Planner always uses the average Vmag of the last 10 observations,
which are determined from the last publishing by the MPC
with MPEC XXX: OBSERVATIONS AND ORBITS OF COMETS
AND A / OBJECTS.