Observing runs/opportunities for astrometric follow-up purporses using telescopes of 1-m or larger

This page reports some information on current or scheduled observing runs of the most powerful observing stations that devote some time to NEO astrometric work.

This feature is a way to communicate between the bigger follow-up stations to check their plans and preliminary results with each other before publication of observations on the Minor Planet Center MPECs - DOU. It is also an indirect way to provide to the smaller facilities an additional source of information about where to direct their efforts when the programs reported in this page are operating. This page is a first attempt to assist the follow-up stations directly in order to make them distribute their follow-up efforts more efficiently during the lunation. It is intended as a complementary service to the various lists (Priority ..., Recovery ..., Faint NEO .....) of the NEO Coordination System of the SCN as it will become clearer hereafter.

Usage of this information

When one of these efficient observing runs is in course it is desiderable to check their observing schedule for the night (plus additional information such as weather conditions ... ) in order to reduce duplication of efforts. How to make good use of this information? As a start we suggest observers the following general guidelines:

a) If an object is classified as urgent observers should not worry about duplicating efforts: their observations will turn out to be very desiderable even if another observer is following the same object on the same night.

b) While some redundancy is desiderable for objects of the top category, it would be useful to avoid observing identical objects from other categories on the same night.

The suggestions and considerations on this page are valid ONLY within a particular time frame: from the time the observer makes his/her plans available to the community to the time the observations are published on MPECs-DOU (the typical window is between 1 and 3 days). The SCN lists are generally updated around 1.00 p.m. UT of each day, a few hours after the MPEC-DOU and the NEODyS database. As soon as this happens, PRECENDENCE for making targeted observing choices should be given to the SCN lists and not derived from the observer results which are already published!!

Of course these considerations tend to apply only for those observing runs fully, or mostly, dedicated in the astrometric work on NEOs (see the definition of "class" later). Very often access to big facilities is limited only to the very urgent objects because very little time can be dedicated to this work.

The following information is released by the observing programs to us in order to improve the coordination work; since they have no obligation to provide such information, we are most grateful to them for their cooperation and useful suggestions.

Observing run class

The observing run CLASS is an index which provides a general idea of the kind of effort that will be spent for NEO astrometric work. We distinguish three cases:

Scheduled runs (updated on March 5, 2004)

At the moment there is preliminary information on the following scheduled observing runs:

Class (1):

Class (2):

Class (3):

General information

In addition to the preliminary information you have just looked at, for each observing run we provide the following information:

This document was updated on March 5, 2004. If you need more information about this service, please write to Andrea Boattini and Germano D'Abramo