Looking for Moving Targets? Try SkyMorph

One of the restrictions on SkyView is that you need to specify a fixed position in the sky to look at. For many years the SkyView machine has hosted a companion service, SkyMorph, that allows you to look for many moving targets: asteroids, comets and some planets. It uses the Horizons service at JPL to get the position of the moving target as a function of time and then uses the epoch of various observations to find which fields of view might include the object. The primary set of observations available in SkyMorph are data from the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) project which has about 700,000 images of the sky. DSS and other datasets are also available. Since the NEAT project looked at some areas of the sky dozens of times, the data can also be used to look for transients or high proper motion objects.

In the next year or so SkyMorph will be leaving the SkyView host and moving to JPL. You can access SkyMorph through its ‘classic’ interface, or try the new service at JPL which is now available as an early beta version.

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