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Determining orbital elements

  1. Aug 22, 2005 #1
    Hi everyone,
    My latest acquisition is an 8"-dobsonian mounted telescope, and I thought I'd try a bit of asteroid observing. What I would like to do is record the asteroid's position over the course of several observations and as a mathematical exercise, calculate its orbit. I know how to use to a set of orbital elements to calculate an object's position, both heliocentric and geocentric in terms of RA and dec., however I'm having trouble finding resources on how to determine the orbital elements in the first place using observations showing the asteroid's motion. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2005 #2
  4. Oct 21, 2005 #3
    See this article on asteroid 1 Ceres:-


    There is a series of references at the foot of that page, of which D. McNally's book Positional Astronomy is one I read ages back, and I would recommend as a good guide.
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