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Minor Planet Downloads and DBPS
Hey Phil, when doing an update in the asteroid files, in particular the NEA today or a DBPS, is there any particular places to have the date configured any certain way? Nightly Planner, etc?
When I do the updates to the MP database, I have ST4v set to today's date when I open the program. That's how the preferences are set. I update the full DB from the MPC every 7-10 days & the NEAs at Today's Epoch every 2-3 days. The epoch of the elements for the full MPC download is still 2021 July 4.

After the MP database is updated, I run the DBPS for MPs <0.05 AU 2 days in the future. That search returned 34 hits on Oct 6 searching for MPs on Oct 9. There were 7-10 new ones.

Next I run the ST4v ephemeris for each new MP in the Observing List & create a Quick Log entry of the Max Brightness & corresponding Earth Distance (Re) predicted. I also include the Min Re if that occurs at a different time from the Max brightness, if it's a daylight pass, visible from the southern hemisphere, etc. I run the ephemeris calculation for 30 days starting about 10 days in the past so I can be disappointed when the close approach occurred before the thing was first observed. This isn't uncommon, as you well know. I also check my results against the CNEOS website. Agreement is very good. If they have one that's not on my list, I know it's time to repeat the download of the NEAs at Today's Epoch again, then the new one usually is on the DBPS list.

I find this to be more rewarding than keeping up with today's events :-).

Hope this helps,

Phil S.
Just to clarify: the Nightly Planner has no bearing at all on the databases, so the date on the Nightly Planner is not a consideration when importing orbital elements. It only matters when you are calculating positions for the planner. In the case of the night of close approach, the Nightly Planner will do its calculations for the different times during the night, using the orbital elements that are appropriate for that time. This is true for all functions within SkyTools. Higher level code always tells the lower level code which asteroid it wants and what time it is, and a position is returned using the appropriate set of elements for that time.
Clear skies,
Head Dude at Skyhound

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