MPC Code Assigned

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The Minor Planet Center Assigns Newcastle Observatory Code H61

On Wednesday, November 19 at 4:31 PM EST, Newcastle Observatory was advised via e-mail from Gareth Williams, Associate Director of the Minor Planet Center (MPC), that it was assigned observatory code H61. This signifies that Newcastle Observatory is capable of making astrometric observations of acceptable quality.

Part of the observatory's mission will now be to gather astrometric observations of small solar system objects (minor planets or asteroids and comets) and submit those measurements to the Minor Planet Center on a regular basis. The goal is to obtain follow up observations on objects so that their orbits can be better defined.

The MPC operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), under the auspices of Division III of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The SAO is a "research institute" of the Smithsonian Institution. It is joined with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) to form the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.