The Solar System Object Search Tool at the CADC: A precovery engine

Stephen Gwyn (Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics)


It is very difficult to find archival images of solar system objects.
While regular archive searches can find images at a fixed location,
they cannot find images of moving targets. Archival images have become
increasingly useful to galactic and stellar astronomers the last few
years but, until now, solar system researchers have been at
disadvantage in this respect. The Solar System Object Search (SSOS) at
the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre allows users to search for images
of moving objects. SSOS accepts as input either a list of
observations, or an object designation, or a set of orbital elements,
or a user-generated ephemeris for an object. It then searches for
observations of that object over a range of dates. The user is then
presented with a list of images containing that object from a variety
of archives. Initially created to search the CFHT MegaCam archive,
SSOS has been extended to other telescope archives including Gemini,
Subaru/SuprimeCam, HST and several ESO instruments.
The SSOS tool is located on the web at:

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