The Minor Planet Bulletin BULLETIN OF THE MINOR PLANETS SECTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF LUNAR AND PLANETARY OBSERVERS
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The Minor Planet Bulletin is the journal for almost all amateurs and even some professionals for publishing
asteroid photometry results, including lightcurves, H-G parameters, color indexes, and shape/spin axis models.
It is considered to be a refereed journal by the SAO/NASA ADS.
All MPB papers are indexed in the ADS.
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Minor Planet Bulletin
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Authors Guide and Word Templates
(v.2.9: updated 2019 November 14)
The ZIP file contains the Authors Guide PDF as well as a "starter" paper in Word 97 (DOT) and Word 2007+ (DOTX). Please read this updated guide since there are a number of changes from previous guides.
The Pts column is no longer required and has been removed from the template for the standard table
to allow more room for the other columns.
The phase column should have only two values: for the first and last date in the range.
If the phase reaches an extrema between those dates, put an asterisk before the first value.
Use semicolons to separate names in the references section. For example:
Smith, J.J.; Jones, A.A. (2019).
This also applies if using several references to the same author in the text. For example:
"This asteroid was observed at three previous apparitions (Jones, 2015; 2017; 2018)..."
Issues for the upcoming quarter-year are released on about the 21st of March, June, September, and December.
Full issues and individual papers from vol 1 (1973) to present are available via links on this page.
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Vol 1-7 run Jul-Jun. Vol 8-present run Jan-Dec. Only papers indexed in the ADS are included.
Earlier volumes often contain more papers than listed here. It's recommended to download the
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CCD images recorded in July 2003 using a Celestron C-14 telescope yielded lightcurves and periods for three asteroids: 105 Artemis has a period of 17.80±0.05h and an amplitude of 0.09 mag; 978 Aidamina has a period of 10.099±0.004h and an amplitude of 0.1 mag; 1103 Sequoia has a period of 3.04±0.01h and an amplitude of 0.34 mag.
2004 spring observing campaign at Rose-Hulman Institute: results for 955 Alstede, 2417 McVittie, 4266 Waltari, and 5036 Tuttle
CCD images recorded in February and April 2004 using the Tenagra 32 inch telescope yielded light curves and periods for four asteroids: 955 Alstede has a period of 5.19 ± 0.01h and an amplitude of 0.25 mag; 2417 McVittie has a period of 4.934 ± 0.002h and an amplitude of 0.31 mag; 4266 Waltari has a period of 11.200 ± 0.005h and an amplitude of 0.11 mag; and 5036 Tuttle has a period of 3.775 ± 0.001h and an amplitude of 0.33 mag.
Rotation period and lightcurve analysis of asteroid 2653 Principia
The lightcurve for the Flora family asteroid 6743 Liu was determined using images taken by Yeung in 2004 April. The images were measured and the period analyzed by Warner. The lightcurve was found to have a synodic period of 7.364±0.005h and amplitude of 0.40±0.02m.
CCD observations and period determination of six minor planets
I report new period determinations for five minor planets and a revised period for a sixth. The new results are: 1528 Conrada, 6.321 ± 0.001h; 1816 Liberia, 3.0861 ± 0.0001h; 2653 Principia, 5.5228 ± 0.0007h; 3455 Kristensen, 8.111 ± 0.002; and (5599) 1991 SG1, 3.620 ± 0.005. 206 Hersilia had a previously published period of 7.33 hours which was inconsistent with my data, showing a revised period of 11.11 ± 0.05 hours.
594 CCD images were taken of the main-belt asteroid (21652) 1999 OQ2 through a Bessel R-band filter over the course of four nights. Differential photometric reduction and Fourier transformation of the relative magnitudes show a period of 16.207 ± 0.002h with a mean R magnitude of 14.05 and a lightcurve amplitude of 0.9 magnitudes. Compared on average with similar-sized asteroids, 1999 OQ2 rotates more slowly and has a larger amplitude, suggesting a highly elongated shape.
Lightcurve analysis for numbered asteroids 863, 903, 907, 928, 977, 1386 2841, and 75747
The lightcurves of eight asteroids were obtained in early to mid-2004 and analyzed. The following synodic periods and amplitudes were determined. 863 Benkoela: 7.03±0.02h, 0.05±0.01m; 903 Nealley: 21.60±0.05h, 0.13±0.02m; 907 Rhoda: 22.44±0.02h, 0.16±0.02m; 928 Hildrun: 14.12±0.03h, 0.34±0.02m; 977 Philippa: 15.405±0.005h, 0.16±0.02m; 1386 Storeria: 8.67±0.02h, 1.40±0.03.m; 2841 Puijo, 3.545±0.005h, 0.03±0.01m; and (75747) 2000 AX153: 6.38±0.02h, 0.30±0.02m. There is a possibility that 2841 Puijo is a binary.
Period determination of asteroids 1508 Kemi and 5036 Tuttle
The lightcurve of asteroid 371 Bohemia indicates a rotation period of 10.7391±0.0002 hours, with an amplitude of 0.15 mag. The measured color indices of the asteroid are (B-V) = 0.84±0.06 and (V-R) = 0.49±0.03. A detailed search for changes in V-R color with rotation angle was negative within ±0.03 mag.
Historical essay: Lightcurves and the Divine Dipsomania
In her 1977 Henry Norris Russell Prize Lecture, Cecelia Payne- Gaposchkin remarked: The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. Nothing can compare with that experience, it engenders what Thomas Huxley called the Divine Dipsomania. The reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape. Not a finished picture, of course; a picture that is still growing in scope and detail, with the application of new techniques and new skills. The old scientist cannot claim that the masterpiece is his own work. He may have roughed out part of the design, laid on a few strokes, but he has learned to accept the discoveries of others with the same delight that he experienced his own when he was young.
Bucknell University Observatory lightcurve results for 2003-2004
We report photometric lightcurve results for asteroids measured and analyzed throughout the 2003-2004 college year at Bucknell University. The following lightcurve period and amplitudes are found: 970 Primula 2.721±0.001 hours and 0.13±0.03 mag; 1027 Aesculapia 6.83±0.10 hours and 0.15±0.03 mag; 1127 Mimi 8.541±0.1 hours and 0.95±0.02 mag; 1501 Baade 10.501±0.001 hours and 0.19±0.05 mag; 2112 Ulyanov 3.000±0.001 hours and 0.33±0.05 mag. Observations were also made of asteroids 978, 1007, 1645, 2525, 4497, and 10374. However, the results were inconclusive as the scatter in the measurements apparently exceeds the amplitude of the lightcurve.
Photometry of 1196 Sheba, 1341 Edmee, 1656 Suomi, 2577 Litva, and 2612 Kathryn
Results for the following asteroids (lightcurve period and amplitude) observed from Santana Observatory during the period April to June 2004 are reported: 1196 Sheba (6.32±0.01 hours and 0.28 mag.), 1341 Edmee (11.89±0.01 hours and 0.30 mag.), 1656 Suomi (2.59±0.01 hours and 0.50 mag.), 2577 Litva (2.82±0.01 hours and 0.50 mag.), 2612 Kathryn (7.71±0.01 hours and 0.50 mag.).
Corrigendum: Rotational periods of asteroids 1165 Imprinetta, 1299 Mertona 1645 Waterfield, 1833 Shmakova, 2313 Aruna, and (13856) 1999 XZ105
Vertical scales were inadvertently inverted for four lightcurve figures published by us in Minor Planet Bulletin 31, 71-73 (2004). Corrected figures for 2313 Aruna, 1299 Mertona, 1645 Waterfield and (13856) 1999 XZ105 are given here. The reported period and amplitude results are unchanged.
The Minor Planet Observer: working and learning together
Those of you who attend meetings that involve amateurs know that one topic of discussion that always seems to come up is “what is an amateur?” The definition over time has become increasingly blurred, especially with the off-the-shelf equipment now available. The definition becomes even more difficult when one sees the level of work being done by the non-professional community. I saw many examples of such at two meetings in May and June.
Lightcurve photometry opportunities, October - December 2004
A quick glance at the short list of asteroids in the “Lightcurve Opportunites” section shows things are wide open in that none of them has a known lightcurve of any degree of certainty. Of course, there’s always the chance that between the time the list was prepared and it appears in print that matters have changed but that should not deter you. The objects are all reasonably bright and so should be within easy reach of most backyard scopes. The most significant complication may come for those asteroids reaching brightest late in the year. They will likely be wandering within the crowded fields of the Milky Way in Gemini, Orion, and surrounding constellations.
New clusters for highly inclined main-belt asteroids
We search for new, high-inclination clusters in the main-belt asteroid population using the D-criterion. We find three possible new clusters: 31 Euphrosyne, 702 Alauda and 945 Barcelona. We provide simple ephemerides for the next oppositions in the time interval 2004-2008, in order to motivate physical observations of the candidates, to check their reliability as families.