Catalogue CodesObservers submitting observations by electronic means (generally e-mail) are required to include observer, measurer and telescope details in every submission.
Observation batches that do not include an observational header will not be recognized as containing observations by the automated processes and will be ignored.
The observational details are to be contained in a series of header lines, beginning with certain keywords specified below and placed before any observations.
- The first line must begin COD and be followed by a three-character observatory code. If you are reporting observations from a new site, you must specify XXX as the observatory code.
- The CON keyword is optional for most observers, but must be given for observations made at sites which use program codes. The CON line must be the second line in the header and must contain as its first element the contact name. Additional contact details may then follow.
- Other lines, which may follow in any order, begin:
- OBS (followed by the list of observers, no programs)
- MEA (followed by the list of measurers, no programs)
- TEL (followed by details of the telescope)
- NET (followed by the abbreviated name(s) of the catalogue(s) used for the reductions).
- BND (followed by single character representing the mag band used for magnitude estimates)
- COM (followed by a textual comment)
- NUM (followed by a count of the observations in this batch)
- An additional keyword, ACK, enables the Minor Planet Center automatically acknowledge receipt of your observations. The contents of the ACK text are unimportant (although it should mean something to you!) and will simply be e-mailed back to you to let you know that your e-mail arrived. If it is necessary to communicate designations to you, these will be sent after the batch is processed.
- By default, the acknowledgement is sent to the e-mail address from which the original message was sent. You can override this default behavior by specifying the AC2 keyword, following it by one or more Internet-style e-mail address, e.g.:
AC2') must be less than or equal to 80 characters. Note that any e-mail address specified with the AC2 keyword is NOT enclosed within square brackets. Any of the e-mail addresses specified can be forwarding addresses at your local site.
Please note the following requirements:
- All lines must be 80 columns or less in width.
- The keywords must be in capitals and begin in column 1.
- The keyword must be followed by a space (ASCII 32).
- The CON, OBS and MEA lines may extend onto a second or subsequent line, repeating the keyword as necessary.
- Names of individuals must be specified as initials + surname with spaces separating each part of the name.
- Initials given must be as given on official documents (e.g., passports, driving licenses, etc.). If your name is `Robert', but you use `Bob' in day-to-day usage, you must still specify your initial as `R.' not `B.'.
- Names must be specified as mixture of capital and lower-case letters, they must be separated from any following name(s) by a comma and they must not be broken across lines.
- If more than one initial is given, there must be a space between each of the initials: e.g., `J. R. R. Tolkien'.
- Hyphenated first names should be abbreviated with the hyphen: e.g., `Jean-Francois Hulot' would be `J.-F. Hulot'.
- Names that contain non-standard characters (e.g., accents or cedillas) may be specified using standard TeX notation--alternatively, an explanation of any special characters required must be included above the header.
- When there are multiple versions of the NET catalogue, be sure to include the version identifier. Don't simply specify "USNO" or "GSC": write them as, for example, "USNO-B1.0" or "GSC-2.2".
- Specification of telescopes must follow the following format: aperture, focal ratio (optional), type of instrument and CCD specifier. Do not specify specific brands of CCD. Do not split telescope details across different TEL lines. Valid examples are 1.0-m f/4.3 reflector + CCD or 0.28-m f/6 Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD. Further information on telescope details is available.
- All keywords may be repeated within the body of observations as required. The values associated with repeated keywords apply from the time they are first defined to the time that they are redefined.
- The contact's e-mail address must be specified within square brackets in the Internet style. Please note that e-mail addresses are given ONLY for the contact person.
- Only one contact name and address may be given.
Examples of valid headers are as follows:
The format of the TEL and NET lines must be as illustrated in recent MPCs (note that specific makes of CCD are not mentioned).
If this is your first submission and your observing site does yet have an observatory code, this must be specified as:
COD XXXAn observatory code will be supplied upon acceptance of the observations for publication.
If your observatory code distinguishes between different programs you may specify the program code after the observatory code, as in the following example:
COD 675 4Note that program codes are assigned by the MPC, not the observer.
The following examples show incorrect headers (with the reason(s) given in parentheses on the offending line(s)):
Do NOT play with this system. It is intended for research purposes and all data submitted records your IP address. Abuse of this submission form will result violations being reported to your ISP and other authorities.
Please use the following form to record observed variable star magnitudes, one submission per observation. This data will be used as a combined effort in the research of variable stars worldwide. Please note that any submission without the proper data or format will NOT be recorded in the data file. Required data elements are indicated with an asterisk.One-letter codes :
A AAVSO Atlas B sky is bright, twilight, light pollution, aurorae F unconventional method (out of focus, visual photometer, etc.) G non-AAVSO chart with Guide Star Catalog magnitudes H haze, mist, fog I identification of star is uncertain J non-AAVSO chart with HIPPARCOS magnitudes K non-AAVSO chart or sequence used L low in sky, horizon, trees, obstruction M moon present or interferes N angle, position angle O "other" comment - MUST be explained in EXPLANATION field R color comment (star is red, blue, etc.) S comparison sequence comment or problem; do not use for non-AAVSO sequence T non-AAVSO chart with TYCHO magnitudes U clouds V faint star, glimpse, near limit W weather (includes wind), poor seeing in general Y activity in star - outburst, fading, flare, unusual behavior Z possibly erroneous, doubtful, observer fatigueMulti-letter Codes :
|CCD||Charge-coupled device (unfiltered)|
|CCDB||Charge-coupled device (blue filter)|
|CCDI||Charge-coupled device (infrared filter)|
|CCDO||Charge-coupled device (orange filter)|
|CCDR||Charge-coupled device (red filter)|
|CCDV||Charge-coupled device (visual filter)|
|COMB||Observation is of nuclear and nebulous regions COMBined|
|NUC||Observation is of the NUClear region|
|PEP||Photoelectric photometer (Visual band)|