Follow-up Rules of the Game

Lowell Observatory: KBO Followup Conditions

I have prepared a set of web pages that are updated once a day. I've attempted to categorize all the known TNO and Centaur objects by their need for astrometric observations. There are four pages dedicated to all such objects regardless of discoverer. There is another page that summarizes the status of all the objects we've discovered from our project that have received provisional designations. Finally, there is one page that shows all the discovered but non-designated objects along with an indication of who has been assigned followup on that object. The ephemeris information and the current astrometric uncertainties on all objects are updated automatically. The assignment and designation status is changed by hand as the situation warrants.

We have three requirements to levy on those interested in participating. (1) We need status information on each night immediately. If you know the night was bad, then those objects will be recycled right away. (2) You must be willing to get the astrometry out very quickly. Don't plan on taking the data and waiting to reduce it for two or three months. We need the astrometry quickly so that we can confirm the recovery, check the orbit, and submit all the astrometry. (3) The submission of all astrometry on non-designated objects to the Minor Planet Center should be coordinated with us to ensure proper discovery credit is retained. We also welcome copies of any data submitted to the MPC on designated objects. If you do this we will include it in our orbit updates right away to the benefit of all. This is particularly advantageous in cases of incomplete recovery observations where the MPC may not report the observations back to the community.

All of the non-designated objects must be observed on a second night before they can receive their provisional designations. We rarely have enough time to get the second night on all these objects as well as for providing for the continued followup on previous discoveries that are in dire need of astrometry. So, we are inviting participation from anyone interested in helping with these astrometric observations. Most of these objects are between R=23 and 24 so you'll need a good site or a big telescope (or both). If you have time and want to help, contact Marc Buie and indicate which objects you'd like to attempt (and when). prior to your run. All observations are being coordinated to prevent wasted efforts so these assignments can be modified daily as the situation warrants.

If you are successful in observing a non-designated object you will be listed as part of the discovery "team" for your role in securing the confirming observations. After announcement of the new object to the MPC you will be free to do what ever you want with the new object with no further contact required from us (though we still want to get new astrometry).

Marc W. Buie, Lowell Observatory, last modified 2005 Feb 15, 10:36 am