Sezione di Ricerca Asteroidi

Program Description

FUAP - Follow Up Astrometric Program

1. Introduction

Astronomers pay careful attention to the Near Earth Asteroids due to their importance roule in the Earth's neighbouring; other asteroids have not the same attention and they should not be observed for a lot of time to be considered as lost.
To avoid this problem we would like to propose an observational's program called Follow Up Astrometric Program (FUAP).

2. FUAP observing program

FUAP involves minor planet with magnitude brighter than 18.0 V and elongation form Sun greather than 90°.

Observational's opportunities are given in five different groups:

1. One opposition: follow-up

Recent discovered minor planets needing for follow-up observation, in this group there are object observed at the first opposition and the FUAP classification (see below) is applied. FUAP class is preceeded by 'N'.

2. Second opposition: recovery

Minor planet observed at only one opposition and not observed for 1 year are included in this group. FUAP class is assumed as 'A'.

3. Third opposition

Asteroid observed for two oppositions and not observed for 1 year are reported. FUAP class is assumed as 'B'.

4. Fourth opposition

Asteroid observed for three oppositions and not observed for 1 year are included. FUAP class is assumed as 'C'.

5. Five or more opposition

Asteroid observed for more than four oppositions having 'A', 'B' or 'C' FUAP class. FUAP class is preceeded by 'O'.

Minor Planet without a pulished value for the H parameter is not considered.

The following information are given for each object:

Minor Planet Number and name or designation
CL FUAP class (see below)
R.A. Right Ascension in hour (J2000)
Decl. Declination in degrees (J2000)
Elong. Elongation from Sun in degrees (E=East, W=West)
Magn. Magnitude V
Arc Observational's arc (days or period)
Rms Orbital residuals in "
LastObs Date of last observations included in the orbit solution
Code 4-hexdigit flags
U Uncertainty Parameter
NOss Number of observations
NOpp Number of oppositions
Type Type of asteroid:
  • NEA
  • Mars Crosser
  • Hungaria
  • Main Belt
  • Hilda
  • Thule
  • Jupiter Trojan
  • Jupiter Crosser
  • Centaur
  • TNO

3. FUAP Service

Monthly upgrading for the service is garantee and the interaction with the MPC Minor Planet & Comet Ephemeris Service is given. Groups 2, 3 and 4 have all object selected for ephemeris, groups 1 and 5 have selected as default only the NEA. Observations must be sent to the Minor Planet Center in the usual way. Obtained results are given and if anyone would like to appear please send us a message similar to the following:

1998 RK74   147   Recovered at second opposition
2004 GH73   147   Not Found on 2005 Jul 19, FOV 18'x15', Magn 19.7
asteroid name, MPC Code, Comment

in case of negative observation date, field of view (FOV) and magnitude limit are welcome. Messages should be sent to the FUAP Team.

4. FUAP Classification

In MPCORB Orbit Database (MPCORB) are repoted the Uncertainty Parameter U and the date of the last observation included in the orbit solution for each minor planet.

We itroduce a parameter named Astrometric Needing Index (ANI) computed as follow:

ANI = (9 - U) / (Dy + 1)(1/4)


  • U = Uncenrtainty Parameter
  • Dy = (current year) - (year of last observation)

If U={D,E,F} we assume that U=9.

If the observed opposition number is >= 4 and U < 3 we assume ANI = 9 ANI = 0 for unperturbed orbits.

Now we are able to classify minor planets using ANI and we introduce the following classes of astrometric needing:

Class ANI Observation
A 0 <= ANI <= 3 Very urgent
B 3 < ANI <= 5 Urgent
C 5 < ANI <= 8 Useful
D 8 < ANI <= 9 Not requested

Last Update 2005 Aug 24

Claudio Cremaschini
Sergio Foglia
Gianni Galli
Maura Tombelli

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