Neo Planner V2.3
- Object Selection -
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These settings are the third step in getting Neo Planner
up and running.
Here you define the
Object Selection of Neo Planner.
In preparation for an observation session, so far you manually
spend some of the time picking out the observable objects and weighing which
objects are really suitable.
With the help of the settings made here, the objects are preselected analogous
to the manual entries on the MPC homepage and the ephemeris are determined.
NEO Planner only selects non-numbered NEOs and all observable comets.
When loading or saving Object Selection, the associated
current result of the
CGI-query at the MPC is displayed
due to the preset settings on the right in the window.
Plausibility checks or actions are usually only carried out after leaving the
cursor in the input field.
IAU Observatory Code::
The active observatory is displayed
- Ephemeris selection: NEO and
Number of lines per object:
The result of the calculation of the observation night is completely dependent
on good parameters.
Neo Planner needs the ephemeris of each object over the entire period of the
coming night if possible.
This means that the number of ephemeris and the interval in minutes must be
coordinated in such a way
that there are enough ephemeris for each object in order
to calculate the optimal observation slot for position
The MPC returns the ephemeris related to the Observatory Code.
This means that the local altitude of the objects is included in the output.
Reaching the highest altitude is exactly the calculation goal for the best
A well-functioning combination of the number of ephemeris and the interval in
minutes is number 40 and interval 20.
These suggested values should be
used to ensure that the entire observation period of the coming night is taken
In the months around Summer solstice in higher
latitudes over maybe 45°, the parameter can also be set
to ~30 to prevent an overflow to the following day.
Interval in minutes per object:
Please look at the previous
The time intervals of the
ephemeris in these settings are only required for preselecting the objects
and play no role in the final calculation of the
These are then determined to the minute, regardless of these settings.
Select objects from NEAM00.txt:
All selected NEO are
determined based on the current NEAM00.txt. This file can be loaded in the
Loading tab of Neo Planner.
This should only be done after the
DOU (Daily Orbit Update) of the MPC has been published.
Usually the update takes place
after 11UT of the current day. In fact, the calculation process in the Neo
Planner only makes sense after the current DOU!
The NEAM00.txt contains the
last calculated orbital elements of all NEO.
It only makes sense to select those NEO whose orbital elements were last
published within a reasonable period of time.
Since the NEO orbital elements are usually updated by the MPC after new
observations, you should only enter a short period of maybe 10 days
when the last update of the orbital elements took place. More than 99 days in
the past are excluded here.
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.
NEOCP settings and
some additional explanations:
Most of the following
settings represent a simulation of the manual entries on the NEOCP, which NEO
Planner automatically determines using so-called CGI queries.
Both the MPC and
JPL CNEOS Scout kindly offer such queries to motivated programmers.
The MPC delivers CGI results
in text format, while Scout sends so-called
JSON files, which
all have to be
parsed after receipt.
However, the Scout JSON queries are not used in the object selection at this
point, only NEOCP
objects are selected.
NEO Planner only uses the
Scout JSON queries when calculating the observation positions to the minute
during the calculation process,
which in contrast to the manual entries on the Scout website
do not have to endure long waiting times.
(The reason for the long manual waiting times of ephermeris calculated with
Scout, which every NEOCP observer knows, is, by the way,
the compulsory calculation of 1000 different orbital elements for each object.
NEO Planner, on the other hand, makes a quick Scout query request only with the first
- Ephemeris selection: NEOCP:
Not seen less than xx.xxx days::
Newly discovered objects usually show only a few observations. Most of the
objects listed on the NEOCP are too weak in terms of brightness or lie outside
the observable range.
To make matters worse, many objects were observed more than a day ago, which
makes it very difficult to find them again.
In the latter cases, the positions calculated by the MPC or JPL Scout can be
very far from the real position. Therefore, especially
with the smaller field sizes of the CCD chip and longer focal lengths,
you should only target those objects that were observed no longer than a day
ago. This is of course only a recommendation and depends on the motivation and
equipment of the observer.
Around the time of the full moon, it can make
sense to include objects with the last observation time in the past, especially
if several observations were made earlier.
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.
with Declination between +/-xx and +/-xx:
Entering the observable area
in declination applies equally to NEOCP objects, NEO and Comets. Enter exactly
the values that you would enter on the NEOCP.
with a NEO disirability score of xxx% and xxx%:
Usually from 0 to 100%
Entering interval 1 (30
minutes) usually ensures the required range of ephemeris over the entire night.
Display of the NEOCP Site:
The NEOCP query results are displayed when the window is loaded based on the
parameters set. In addition, the display adapts itself when you press the Save
based on the settings made.