Get NEOCP orbits

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Get orbits from PCCP and NEOCP for Guide


This software extracts the orbits from NEOCP and PCCP objects and creates an orbit file, that can be used by the planetarium program GUIDE program to show all objects in the "error scatter" mode. Note, that all objects are in one file, so you don't need to select for each object a separate file.

If you don't want to calculate it at your own computer, you can download it and save it at your own computer. In GUIDE you must select the file with full path and name using the ALT-J keys. Don't forget to restart GUIDE. Because the orbit data will be mostly updated each 1 or 2 hours, you may use programs to download the file periodically.

So the user can check, if the objects may be in his field of view or how many other new coordinate settings he much used. Because GUIDE allows the animation mode, the settings can be made very easy, although the possible locations can be widened very fast, when the new object has only a very small arc of observation.

The user can also use the magnitude limit of GUIDE and all other special things of this planetarium program. Please remember that you can change the orbital elements MPCORB.DAT with ALT-J in GUIDE and set them back if you want to view the "normal" asteroids. If you know the command line, you may also develop a short batch, like copy mpc.orb + orbits.all mpcorball.orb. So you must not change the elements each time when you want the other group of asteroids.

If you use other planetarium programs, just try to use the orbits.all file as mpcorb.dat (or the sum of both, see paragraph above). Some users told me, that it works.


The program is freeware at the moment. I make no guarantee for anything. You use it at your own risk. It's a Windows command-line program.

You start the program by typing


At first start or start after a long time, there is some output from the download program and it needs some time.

If you start with the option nokill (get-cp-orbits.exe nokill), the program will not delete the files for the objects gone from the NEOCP list.

The program wget.exe from the ZIP file will be used to get the data from MPC. So don't erase it...

How it works

The program downloads the text list of new asteroids and comets from MPC. This list is saved in neocp.txt and pcpp.txt. If there are no objects, the appropriate list doesn't exist.

To avoid too much traffic at MPC, these list are checked for new entries and only the latest orbits will be downloaded. All orbit files, which disappears from the NEOCP page, will be deleted. Otherwise, you can take a look at the single orbit files. They are saved in the directory as name.orb. The complete list, which you should use in GUIDE with ALT-J is named orbits.all.

During an observing session, it's best to start this program as often, as you need it, especially before you begin to observe another object. So you can see without time-consuming website visits if there are better observations and a new lower error scattering of possible orbits.

For your private orbit calculations (e.g. with find_orbit by the author of GUIDE) all observations are saved in the file obs.all and each for each object in the file name.obs.

Attention: Because Windows cannot distinguish between lower and upper alphabet characters "a-z" and "A-Z" the lower character is encoded with a "_" before it. So e.g. ZTF025s is coded in filenames as ZTF025_s, but ZTF025S as ZTF025S.


You can download just the ZIP archive and extract the content anywhere at your disc in a separate folder. You must know the directory to start it or save it in a PATH directory of your Windows system. Don't forget to tell GUIDE with ALT-J, that it should use these orbits.all for the MPCORB file.

Donations & Newsletter

You can support me for the costs of hosting, if you donate (also very small amounts) to Paypal.
Please give as subject "get-cp-orbits" and the following possible additional data.
If you give at the subject of the donation your e-mail adress I'll store it and set it to the Newsletter.
You will only receive an e-mail if there are important changes in the program.
If you write at the subject of your donation a name or/and link and "publish"; I set your name to the list of supporters at this website (only then, otherwise only as an anonymous number). I'll not publish your amount of donation.

Repair the comets download function

Michael Koch has published a book about video astronomy and published there a working solution to repair the comet download function of Guide 9.1. Just copy the file add_mpc.hee into the Guide 9 directory (overwriting the existing file, you may save the old file before this copy action). Important You must update to Guide 9.1! If you use other languages, e.g. German, you must change the file name to add_mpc.hed. Compare the latest letter in other languages with similar files in your Guide directory.

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