What is the Monthly Monitor? by Andrea Boattini

The Monthly Monitor is a service offered by NEOCS (NEO Coordination System), a section of the Spaceguard Central Node intended to help monitoring the discovery and follow-up activities of Near-Earth Objects (asteroids and comets). It is organized in a very simple way: on a monthly basis, after full Moon, we prepare a brief summary report. It is divided into seven subsections: 1) Brief comment on the activities of the month, highlighting the most important events of the period. 2) List of new NEOs and status of their orbital accuracy: we report the new NEO discoveries and briefly summarize those whose orbits got fixed during the early stages of the follow-up (i.e. as a result of precovery observations). A brief comment on the follow-up prospects for each object is also given. 3) Follow-up status of NEOs discovered in previous months: we mention the contribution of the stations that made more efforts to secure orbits of NEOs discovered at previous months. It includes objects from the Priority List and the Faint NEO List. Once NEOs are no longer visible, they are stored and categorized in a file according to the expected difficulty to locate them at future apparitions. 4) Recovery activity: successful identifications and missing recoveries. We review the opportunities to recover old objects and analyze the reason that led to missing searches or identifications. 5) Summary of special campaigns: it consists in a summary of observing activities covering various needs, for example objects with remote collision probabilities. 6) Sky coverage summary of the big surveys. A brief analysis is done regarding the extent of the sky coverage by various surveys, with the goal to encourage a very uniform coverage of the whole available sky. 7) Statistics related to the size distribution of new objects. The general goal of Monthly Monitor is to improve the quality of the observing work, both for searching and for follow-up. This is done by showing specific pitfalls, for example if a particular region of the sky has not been surveyed for a while.

This service is expected to be started in February 2001, and will be maintained in full version at:
A summary of the objects observed will also be reported in this on-line survey.

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