31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 28. Near Earth Asteroids
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Tuesday, October 12, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Sala Plenaria

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[28.06] NEODyS: An online information system for near-Earth objects

S.R. Chesley, A. Milani (University of Pisa)

The Near-Earth Object Dynamics Site (NEODyS) is an online information service for near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). Fundamentally, NEODyS is a database of NEA information; however, the distinguishing feature of the system is the degree to which the information is made available on the World Wide Web. In NEODyS every NEA has its own ``home page'' containing sections devoted to the object's orbit, observations, and close encounters.

NEODyS provides interactive ephemeris services to the observer in both tabular and graphical forms. The graphical ephemeris provides a depiction of the uncertainty region on the celestial sphere, including nonlinear effects, which can be of paramount importance in the recovery of lost or nearly lost objects. With the database query service one may search for all asteroids possessing some desired orbital characteristics. This makes it easy, for example, to find all of the asteroids which are large enough to be hazardous, and can come close to the Earth, yet are effectively lost.

New features expected to be in place soon include an observation planning service, which will allow the user to easily determine which NEAs are presently observable. This will be implemented with a database query of the current ephemerides, with uncertainty, for all NEODyS objects. The other planned expansion is a close approach monitoring system, which will report all potential close approaches within a fixed distance to all planets and to the largest asteroids which are compatible with the observations.

The database is automatically updated on a daily basis as new observations are released from the Minor Planet Center. All of the data files needed to reproduce the NEODyS results are freely available, even the OrbFit software used for orbit determination. NEODyS can be accessed at URL {\tt http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys}.

NEODyS has been funded by NATO, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), and the University of Pisa.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://newton.dm.unipi.it/neodys. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: chesley@dm.unipi.it

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