Sergio Foglia


F. Bisleri 11

I-2048 Milano

Minor Planet Software (MPS) is a set of computer programs to help minor planet observers in their researches. MPS runs under DOS and it works good also with Windows 95/98 operating systems. MPS contains some executable programs and system files, each routine is a single executable program. All programs are written using C language.

Orbital elements database consists of two files: ASTEROID.ELE and ASTEROID.IDX. They should be upgraded anytime using MPCORB.DAT or MPCORBCR.DAT from the Minor Planet Centre.

Perturbations are not used in the ephemeris calculation and highly accurate results cannot be obtained more than one or two years from the epoch of osculation of the elements. You should be able to obtain accurate ephemeris using The Minor Planet Ephemeris Service of the Minor Planet Centre at the following URL:


In the MPS.ZIP archive you will find the following files:

ASTEROID.ELE orbital elements database (first 200 objects)

ASTEROID.IDX orbital elements database index (first 200 objects)

HELVB.FON graphical font

LOCATION.DAT observerís location file

MPCLASS.EXE ephemeris of groups

MPCORB.EXE upgrade orbital elements routine

MPCORBCR.EXE upgrade orbital elements routine

MPEL.EXE orbital elements

MPELREF.DOC reference for orbital elements

MPEPH.EXE ephemeris

MPFILED.EXE objects in a selected sky region

MPNIGHT.EXE height and azimuth


MPS.EXE Minor Planet Software

MPSETUP.EXE set userís location

MPS_8.DOC userís guide (this file)

PLANET.DAT orbital elements of major planets

TMSRB.FON graphical font

UPGRADE.EXE upgrade orbital elements

Computed ephemeris are topocentric and the first step after installation is the observerís location setting. LOCATION.DAT file contains the geographic coordinates of the observerís location. Using MPSETUP.EXE users should change default data and their information will be permanent stored in the LOCATION.DAT file.

MPS.EXE is the Minor Planet Software manager. Running this program it will appear:

a choice: Ephemeris

this option runs MPEPH.EXE program; it computes ephemeris for selected minor planets stored in an output file. Ephemeris are referred to J2000.0 equinox and are topocentric. Output file is format as follows:

MPEPH: Minor Planet Ephemeris v.6.1

2000, S.Foglia, Serafino Zani Observatory

Ephemeris for Lumezzane

Longitude: -10.240694 Latitude: 45.666361 Altitude: 830.0


Date R.A.2000 Decl.2000 Delta r Phase Mag Elong.

year mo day hh mm.mm dd pp.p A.U. A.U. į V į


13147 Foglia

2003 11 1 2 59.34 +12 32.1 1.890 2.874 3.1 17.2 171.0W

2003 11 11 2 50.96 +11 53.7 1.885 2.872 2.1 17.1 174.0E

2003 11 21 2 42.89 +11 19.6 1.909 2.869 5.7 17.4 163.1E


b choice: Orbital Elements

this option runs MPEL.EXE program; it reads orbital elements of minor planets located in ASTEROID.ELE file. Output file is MPEL.TXT file that contains orbital elements of selected minor planets.

c choice: Height and Azimuth

MPNIGHT.TXT is the output file containing height and azimuth of Sun and Minor Planet for the selected period.

d choice: Orbit

this option runs MPORBIT.EXE program; it shows the orbit of a selected minor planet for a time given by user, also major planets orbit are shown. Bright line in minor planet orbit means positions upper the ecliptic plane; dark line in minor planet orbit means positions under the ecliptic plane. Planet's position at fixed time are given by bright circles. Also vernal equinox direction is shown. HLEVB.FON and TMSRB.FON are the fonts files of this program. PLANET.DAT contains the orbital elements of major planets.

e choice: Objects in a selected Sky region

this option runs MPFIELD.EXE program; it computes ephemeris for all minor planets listed in ASTEROID.ELE file that are in selected sky field at a time given by user. MPFIELD.TXT is the output file that contains ephemeris referred to J2000.0 equinox and are topocentric.







f choice: Ephemeris of Groups

this option runs MPCLASS.EXE program; it is very useful to produce ephemeris of an entire class of objects for a given period.

it is also possible to enclose conditions in magnitude limit and declination minima

MPS is freely-available on the World Wide Web at the following URL:




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