Information is available on the following MPC publications:
Minor Planet Circulars
The Minor Planet Circulars (MPCs) (also known as Minor Planets and
Comets) are published generally on the date of each full moon by the
Minor Planet Center. The
Circulars contain astrometric observations and orbits of both
minor planets and comets. The astrometric observations of comets are
published in full, while the minor-planet observations are summarised by
observatory code (the full observations
now being given in the Minor Planet Circulars Supplement).
New numberings and namings of minor planets, as well
as numberings of periodic comets, are announced in the Circulars. MPCs
are also published in mini-batches, where there are no new numberings and
there is no summary of minor-planet observations. Such mini-batches are
usually published when there are staff unavailabilities around the time
of publication. The observer, measurer and orbit computer details are
referenced in the Astrophysical Data
MPC publication began in 1947. ISSN 0736-6884.
Minor Planet Circulars Supplement
The Minor Planet Circulars Supplement contain the minor-planet
observations, sorted by designation and date. It is these observations that
are summarized in the MPCs. There is an MPS batch associated
with each full batch of MPCs. In addition, there are the mid-month
MPS batches, published at roughly weekly intervals, listing all the
observations received in the previous week.
MPS publication began in Oct. 1997. ISSN 1528-137X.
Minor Planet Circulars Orbit Supplement
The Minor Planet Circulars Orbit Supplement (MPOs) contain full details
(including full residual blocks) on the orbits for newly-numbered,
newly-linked and newly-identified minor planets. In addition, one-line
orbits for one-opposition and previously-linked multi-opposition orbits are
included: residual blocks for these orbits are not published but are available
through the MPES.
MPO publication began in May 2000. ISSN 2153-8530.
Minor Planet Electronic Circulars
The Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs) carry news on unusual
minor planets and some routine material on comets. New discoveries
of unusual minor planets (both near-Earth and
trans-Neptunian objects) are announced via these circulars.
Improved orbits appear frequently. Monthly lists of observable
unusual objects, observable distant objects, observable comets and the
critical list of numbered minor planets also appear on these circulars.
Daily Orbit Update MPECs, issued every day, contain new
identifications and orbits obtained over the previous 24 hours.
Please note that the final publication of material that appears in the
MPECs occurs in the MPCs. Material may appear on the
MPECs that is subsequently corrected only in the MPCs: this
behavior is consistent with the intent that the MPECs are to be
treated as a temporary publication and the MPCs as a
MPEC publication began in Sept. 1993. ISSN 1523-6714.
Note on Printed Distribution of MPC Publications
As a result of the 2009 Oct. free availability of MPC publications and
services, the MPC can no longer provide printed copies of its publications.
Full access to PDF versions of all MPC publications is available via
the MPCArchive service,
from which printed copies may be derived if desired.
Discontinued Publications and Services
The following services/publications are no longer available:
- Extended Computer Service: the individual parts of the ECS are freely
available from the main MPC page.
- Computer Service
- Catalogue of Orbits of Unnumbered Minor Planets.
- Catalogue of High-Precision Orbits of Minor Planets (note minor change from
earlier title Catalogue of High-Precision Orbits of Unnumbered Minor
- The magnetic tape of observations.
The Minor Planet Center no longer distributes the annual
Efemeridy Malykh Planet (Ephemerides Of Minor Planets, EMP).
Distribution of the EMP volume (and accompanying CD-ROM) is handled
by the Institute of
Applied Astronomy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Naberezhnaya Kutuzova 10,
St. Petersburg, Russia.