The Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB)

Welcome to the Asteroid Lightcurve Database

The Asteroid Lightcurve Database is a listing of asteroid lightcurve parameters and other information, e.g., estimated/measured diameters, absolute magnitudes (H), phase slope parameters (G), albedos, and more.


A summary set of tables (text files) is distributed annually for general use along with special versions for the Planetary Data System (PDS), the ITA in St. Petersburg, Russia (Ephemerides of Minor Planets), and the Minor Planet Center.

About the Data Files

The text files in the public release consist of two primary sets. The general files and the Binary Asteroid files provided by Petr Pravec, Astronomical Institute, Czech Republic. The general text files contain the most critical information from all the main data tables (lookup tables are not included).

The main exception is the F-D_<Release Date>_PUB_BASIC.TXT file. This contains the data used to generate the frequency-diameter (F-D) plots included in the release.


We chose to limit this file to preclude data that we consider less than fully-reliable for rotation or other studies. We STRONGLY urge that the F-D*_PUB_BASIC.TXT file be used as the base for initial studies and/or used as a background upon which to plot new results to show that they either fit the background, or reveal something profoundly new.

Should there be a need for the excluded data, they can be extracted from the LC*.TXT files using the column maps and descriptions for each table.

Latest Public Release

2018 June 23.

Important Notices

Column mappings for each table can change. These allow parsing the text files by knowing the point in each line where a given value starts and the maximum number of characters allowed. See the updated README.TXT file in the ZIP.

2018 June 23 Release 

The NEOWISE data (Mainzer et al., 2016) submitted to the NASA PDS are included. This added more than 100,000 diameters and albedos. From the paper by Erasmus et al. (2018) are included V-R and V-I color indices for more than 1000 asteroids. Most period and amplitude determinations are minimums and so no U code was assigned in all but a small number of entries.

2017 November 12 Release 

New Table: LC_DIAMETERS_PUB.TXT. Extracts all detail records that provide one or more of the following: H, G, albedo, and diameter. The summary line includes the adopted values for Period, H, G, albedo, and diameter. The file includes detail records even if the summary line does not have a period and/or amplitude, i.e., "orphaned" summary records.

Change to LC_COLORINDEX_PUB.TXT: as with the new diameters table, all entries in the color index table are included, not just those where the summary line has a reported period and/or amplitude.

2015 July Release

More than 13,500 summary records were added as a result of two papers using data from the Palomar Transient Factory. See the updated README.TXT in the ZIP file for more information.



Referencing the LCDB

If you use the LCDB files, either on-line or the ZIP file, please give the following credit.


Short Reference (within text of a paper, etc.)

Warner et al. (2009) or (LCDB; Warner et al., 2009)


Full Reference

Warner, B.D., Harris, A.W., Pravec, P. (2009). Icarus 202, 134-146. Updated <Date of last update>. http://www.MinorPlanet.info/lightcurvedatabase.html


For example: 

Warner, B.D., Harris, A.W., Pravec, P. (2009). Icarus 202, 134-146. Updated 2018 Jun 23. http://www.MinorPlanet.info/lightcurvedatabase.html



LCDB References Table with ADS Hyperlinks 

Click here to go to the LCDB References page that features BibCode hyperlinks into the NASA/SAO Astrophysical Data System (ADS). In many cases, you can download a copy of the original paper from the ADS page.


LCDB On-line Query Form

The on-line query form retrieves all columns from the LCDB Summary table, limited if you want to those records matching one or more filters. For example, you can limit results to a specific group, size, and/or rotation period.

The on-line query returns a table with a radio button in each row. Select one of the rows and click a button to display all entries tied to the select object from the Details, Ambiguous, Binary, Spin Axis, Tumbling, and Color Index tables.


Click here to go to the LCDB Query page