Minor Planet Center (MPC)

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) is an organization based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory that collects, computes, checks, and disseminates information about minor planets, including asteroids, comets, and Kuiper Belt objects. The MPC operates under the auspices of Commission 20 of the International Astronomical Union and is funded mainly by subscriptions to its various services. The Institute for Theoretical Astronomy in St. Petersburg, Russia, fulfills a complementary function by publishing each year the Ephemerides of Minor Planets, which contains the orbital elements of all numbered asteroids, together with their opposition dates and ephemerides.