Catalogue of Comet Discoveries
I have decided to provide the Catalogue free on the web instead of sending it
individually via e-mail. You still have the possibility to join the mailing list
for information concerning the Catalogue. If one uses data of this Catalogue in
some work I ask for referencing to the Catalogue (and maybe a copy of this work
;) ) Please remember that the Catalogue is a spare-time project so there may come
times with only little progress.
Whats new in the 1999 edition?
Compared with the last version of the Catalogue a lot of changes and improvements
(I hope... ) have been incorporated. The following list gives an overview:
- Format: The total length of each data record is now fixed to 125 bytes which
improves the handling for data analysis. The format for the designation has been
expanded to 12 bytes. This is due to asteroid-like comet designations as
P/1998 QP54. Since there were already asteroid designations like
AA111 a 12th byte was neccessary.
- Notes: The notes are now stored in a separate file. Each discovery with
supplementary notes is marked with an x at the 82th byte.
- Equinox and Positions: The equinox for all discovery positions is 2000.0.
For pre-2000.0 discoveries (before C/1991 X1) the positions were calculated using
the GUIDE software. Where no exact time of discovery was available it was assumed
that morning sky discoveries were discovered at DD.2 UT and evening sky discoveries
at DD.8 UT, respectively (where DD stands for the day). (The centering on UT was
chosen without logical reason.) For post-2000.0 discoveries the astrometric
positions were taken for professional discoveries, else it were calculated later
- Additional data: Many people have sent me data on specific discoveries.
Special thanks to Kazumi Akiyama (Japanese discoveries), Maciej Reszelski (Polish discoveries),
Kazimieras Cernis (Lithuanian discoveries and discoveries in the Republics
of the former Soviet Union).
- Country codes: The country codes were changed according to the international
standard ISO 3166 (with the exception for satellite discoveries). Sometimes these
codes may seem unfamiliar as they are sometimes totally different from e.g. country
codes in sports. All codes are explained in the catalog.txt.
The following list gives an overview of planned changes/improvements.
- Cometography: With the first volume of Gary Kronks Cometography
(March 1999) I will add data for the corresponding page for every comet. It seems
reasonable since the new Cometography will be some kind of standard work in
- MPC station codes: I'm thinking of including the MPC station codes. What
do you think?
- One-line format: I was asked if a one-line format would be more reasonable.
This means that for every discovery only ONE record exists, with the co-discoveries
mentioned in the notes file. Again, what do you think?
- More data!: As time permits I will try to complete the Catalogue step by
step. This will include the rest of the IAUC numbers and A.N.
(Astronomische Nachrichten) numbers (for pre-IAUC discoveries) and discovery
- Suggestions? Wishes?: Maik Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you want to be added to the Catalogue's mailing list to stay informed about news
and updates please send me a mail.
To avoid viewing the data in your browser and for direct download use
<Shift>-Click on the linked file.
Name Size Description
com_disc.txt .... 149.858 bytes......... Main data file.
catalog .txt ...... 4.836 bytes......... Readme file with information on sources and format.
comnotes.txt ...... 3.123 bytes......... Data file with supplementary notes.
© 1999, Maik Meyer (email@example.com)