Observing Guides

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Observing Guides

Updated 2020 November 13


Observing Planning Tools
Visit this page for the Ephemeris Generator and other tools to plan your asteroid observing.
Close approaches of deep-sky objects by asteroids


Close approaches of bright stars by asteroids

Close approaches of asteroids to one another

The five best years to observe each asteroid


Favorable Apparitions by Year (1-546,077; 1995-2050)

Asteroids reaching a favorable apparition for each year


SkyWatch is a dynamic page that computes current lunar and planetary positions and lunar phases for the entire year. Rise/set/transit times are determined for your location.


 Observing Hints
From Stan Moore, one of the best
Align using your CCD in a different way. Written by J. Hall.
Bruce Johnson details the how and why of this classic approach.
Excellent primer by William Romanashin.
Compiled by Arne Henden and the AAVSO staff. Photometry is photometry. This has lots of great information that is not specific to any particular target.
A getting started set of FAQs for those wanting to do asteroid photometry.
A basic guide for putting instrumental magnitudes onto a standard system. Works for filtered and unfiltered data (with some caveats).
Utility Programs / Information 
Loads MPCORB.DAT into memory. Search data by number or unpacked designation.
For those who know stars by Greek letters and not formal (usually Arabic) names.