Last updated 14 Sep 2017

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Observer tools

NEO Confirmation page (NEOCP) Ephemerides configurable for your observatory for newly discovered NEOs, comets and other interesting objects.
MPC Ephemeris Service (MPES) Ephemerides configurable for your observatory for all minor planets and comets.
MPC NEAObs NEA Observation Planning Aid from the Minor Planet Center.
Build a customised list of NEOs by specifying a number of selection parameters, including the current sky uncertainty, to help choose NEOs to observe that require astrometry.
NEODys Risk page Similar listings from NEODys and JPL of currently observable and lost NEOs with possible impact solutions, generally where the orbital elements are not known very accurately and therefore require further observations urgently.
  JPL Risk page (SENTRY)
Minor Planet Checker The Minor Planet Center provide this page for observers to check whether an object is a previously known minor planet. Enter the RA and Dec (or paste in a standard MPC formatted observation) and the page will list known minor planets in the vicinity at the time (but note that Minor Planets observed at only one opposition that have not been seen for several years are not included, so always send in suspects to the MPC for full checking)
  New Object Ephemeris Generator Another Minor Planet Center facility where anything from 2 to 100 positions of a moving object can be used to generate a preliminary ephemeris (by the Vaisala method). This is very useful when trying to get a second night of observations for an object that is suspected of being a new asteroid and works well for main belt asteroids but not for fast moving objects. Report fast movers to the MPC immediately!
  NEO Rating Page Given two or more observations of a moving object this page calculates the probability of it being a Near Earth Object. Scores of 50% or more are required for an object to be included on the NEO Confirmation Page (NEOCP).


Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) The Tracking News (formally Major News about Minor Objects) Daily news of astrometry published by the IAU MPC from professionals & amateur observers around the world + Risk monitoring results. Published by Bill Allen.

The Asteroid/Comet Connection News pages published until 16 September 2007 (but still available on the A/CC site) have given a very interesting account of issues about currently observable objects, together with plenty of background.

Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) Traffic Report. For Near Earth objects currently within 10 Lunar Distances of the Earth a graphic is provided showing positions on the sky, together with detailed information on each object.
Asteroid/Comet Connection (A/CC) Traffic Timeline. Various sets of graphs and statistics for close approaches to the Earth by NEOs since 01 Jan 2007.
Asteroid/Comet Connection Observatory Links Very comprehensive listings of the web sites of observatories involved in astrometry. Presented alphabetically and by country.
Minor Planet Mailing List (MPML) Discussion forum "for the active Asteroid and Comet researcher... provides a way for researchers in this communitiy at all levels an opportunity to share information, astrometric and photometric techniques or to request specific observations of various objects"
  Comets Mailing List Discussion forum "for observers and anyone else interested in comets. This includes discussion about visual, photographic and CCD observing as well as about astrometric, orbital, photometric, hunting or historical aspects." 
Backyard Astronomy Basics An interesting collection of links for beginners to astronomy (thanks Peyton)
British Astronomical Association Supporting amateur astronomers since 1890


Guide to Minor Body Astrometry The Minor Planet Center's guide to starting an astrometric program. Essential reading.
Recent MPECs The 20 most recent MPC Electronic Circulars (MPECs) and access to previous MPECs, giving details of astrometry, orbital elements and summary ephemerides of NEOs and comets
Previous NEO Confirmation Page Objects Archived contents of the MPCs Previous NEO Confirmation Page Objects page (which only provides details up to about one month old). The archived list contains details from 2002 to the present (a few gaps are indicated within the list).
IR and rain satellite image for Great Shefford Essential night-time viewing for rainy England

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