Minor Planet Center

The Minor Planet Center (MPC ) is the official organization for the collection, analysis and publication of data on minor planets ( asteroids ) and comets. It confirms the discoveries of minor planets and comets.

The MPC operates under the auspices of the IAU. It is the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory ( SAO) affiliated to and works with the Harvard College Observatory together. It maintains, inter alia, online services can support the MPC through their own observations on, for example, amateur astronomers. Via the Internet on the complete catalog of all such Z. known minor planets ( "Minor Planet Center Orbit Catalogue" - MPCORB ) can be accessed.

The MPC was founded in 1947 at the University of Cincinnati. The first director was Paul Herget. 1978 - under the direction of Brian Marsden - it was the SAO affiliated.