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Updated 2021 May 15
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Observing Guides

Observing Planning Tools
Visit this page for the Ephemeris Generator and other tools to plan your asteroid observing.

Asteroid-DSO Appulses (2019-2021)
Close approaches of deep-sky objects by asteroids.

Asteriod-Star Appulses (2019-2021)
Close approaches of bright stars by asteroids.

Asteriod-Asteroid Appulses (2019-2021)
Close approaches of asteroids to one another.

Five Brightest Apparitions (numbered only)
The five best years to observe each numbered asteroid.

Favorable Apparitions (1995-2050, numbered only)
Asteroids reaching a favorable apparition for each year.

SkyWatch
SkyWatch is a dynamic page that computes current lunar and planetary positions and lunar phases for the entire year. Rise/set/transit times are determined for your location.


Observing Guides

Creating Flat Fields
From noted observer Stan Moore, one of the best

Polar Alignment without drift
Align using your CCD in a different way. Written by J. Hall.

Drift Polar Alignment
Bruce Johnson details the how and why of this classic approach.

Romanashin CCD Photometry Handbook
Excellent primer by William Romanashin.

AAVSO CCD Manual
Compiled by the AAVSO. The basics of CCD photometry are the same regardless of the target.

Asteroid Photometry Guide
A getting started set of FAQs for those wanting to do asteroid photometry.

Standardizing Your Photometry
A basic guide for putting instrumental magnitudes onto a standard system. Works for filtered and unfiltered data (with some caveats).

Utility Programs / Information

MPCORBLIST.ZIP
Loads MPCORB.DAT into memory. Search data by number or unpacked designation.