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Eyes on Asteroids
Hi Phil. I did not look at the CPU usage, but will put that on my list of things to do.
Win11 Pro, 64gb ddr4 Ram, RTX 2080 Super, i7 11700K, 3 x 1920x1080 280hz Monitors.
(2021-12-15, 05:26 PM)PMSchu Wrote: I think those are the objects I was referring to, but in my display they were in the upper left quadrant near (16) Psyche. Have you changed the orientation of the map? When you speed up the passage of time, they're really noticable as they chase each other around the orbit.

Yes, I rotated the image. 

White might indicate a comet (or fragments thereof). In search for a legend I went through the explanations in the Learn menu and noticed that the slide about comets showed 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in white as well), whereas the previous one about asteroids showed them in blue.
Hi All,

I received an answer from Jason Craig at JPL about that string of objects. He said, "...But it’s actually 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann, a disintegrating comet.t." I've asked his permission to post his full reply here & will do so when he agrees.

Razvan, I think you're correct about the meaning of the white & blue dots. If you turn off the MPs, all the comets appear as white dots as do the objects in question. 

Phil S.
Thanks for sharing the explanation, I read more about the comet at
I remember imaging that comet after it broke up in 2006.  I tried to image each of the segments but was only able to get two of them, B & C.  You can see those images at:

73P-B-Schassman-Wachmann (

73P-C-Schassman-Wachmann (

Hi Rod,

Those are some great images of the comet.


Phil S.

Hi All,

Jason Craig gave permission to post his full reply about the objects.
Hi Phil, great question! 

We actually wondered that ourselves, and since we use the SSD database ( directly, we weren’t sure if it was a bug or not.  But it’s actually 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann, a disintegrating comet.

Also see this Wikipedia entry:

For the next release, we will include a label for it since everyone wants to know what it is. 



Jason Craig
Visualization Producer
NASA’s Eyes
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Phil S.
Interesting. As that link has very old epoch dates for those fragments.

So I'm beginning to wonder why those fragments are even shown on "Eyes on Asteroids" since most of those 69 odd fragments will not bring up any magnitude at Horizons.
I was looking for an observing list of all the 73P fragments. Is there one available? All the elements can be found at

Currently, the full string of fragments runs from the Coma/Leo/Virgo border into Cancer with 73P 3-AP (magnitude 24) just 3' west of the nice double star Iota Cancri. The trailing fragment appears to be 73P 3-S (~25th mag). There is also an outlier on the east end of the chain (73P 3-U) that makes the full extent of the train stretch over 98°!!

I've been unable to illustrate this configuration in ST4v. Any help would be appreciated.

If you can get the elements for all of the fragments, you might try a DBPS using the orbit parameters of 73/P to find all of the objects that are in that orbit, then copy the results onto a new Observing List (OL) that has all of the fragments in it. Put Check marks on all of the fragments & have ST4v display 'All Checked' on the IA or a Finder chart. 

Please make a .stx file of the OL so you can share it on the forum, if you're successful. I'd like to see how it looks.

ST4v does have elements for some of the fragments in the Comet DB here: [attachment=2157]

Perhaps the file from MPC with all observable comets has all of the fragments. I'll check.

Here's the result of downloading the MPC's Observable Comets list: [attachment=2157]

It looks like the same fragments are listed, but some new elements have been added.

Good luck,

Phil S.
Thanks. That's what I found in the ST database. Most of the fragments are far to faint to observe, explaining why they are not in STv. If I could import them all from the JPL data, would save a ton of time and possible error inclusion. Entering 69 sets of elements manually might cause me some pause

Here are all of the 73P elements from JPL. Both as a graphic and as a text file. Maybe there is a way to import the text file int ST.


.txt   73P all elements from JPL.txt (Size: 8.77 KB / Downloads: 1)

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