The Minor Planet Center (MPC) operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), under the auspices of Division F (formerly Division III and, before that, Commission 20) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The Minor Planet Center derives its operating budget from a five-year NASA grant.

The MPC is responsible for the designation of minor bodies in the solar system: minor planets; comets; and natural satellites. The MPC is also responsible for the efficient collection, computation, checking and dissemination of astrometric observations and orbits for minor planets and comets, via its various journals:

MPC Publications and Services

Services for Observers

Large Data Sets

Access the large observation and orbit data files generated by the MPC.


Lists and plots