Minor Bodies in the Outer Solar System:

Magnitudes and Colours

O.R. Hainaut, ESO, H. Boehnhardt, MPS, and S. Protopapa, UMd


Some papers added;
Database maintenance and new capabilites (stay tuned)

These pages contains photometric information on Minor Bodies in the outer Solar System, i.e. comets, transneptunian objects, centaurs and trojans. Satellites of MBOSSes are included, but not the giant planets'.

The methods used are described in detail in the companion paper, Hainaut, Boehnhardt & Protopapa (2012), which is an update of the original paper on this topic, by Hainaut & Delsanti (2003).

MBOSS-2: reference paper
O.R. Hainaut, H. Boehnhardt & S. Protopapa (2012)
Astronomy & Astrophysics 546, L115
Full PDF

The visible and near-infrared magnitudes and colours are collected from the literature. Only measurements identified as "simultaneous" (i.e. within less than about an hour from each-other) are combined into colours, so not to introduce rotation artifacts.

The number of measurements is now large enough so that data-sets with an internal high dispersion can be safely identified and removed. The rejection method is safe for individual outliers; it is described in the paper.

The object type is defined using physico-dynamical classes derived from those from Gladman et al. in the SSBN book [ADS].

The absolute R magnitude and the spectral gradient (slope of the reflectivity spectrum derived from the colours and normalized to 1 in V) over the visible range are derived for each object.

Database Tables

The current status of the photometric database is listed below. The data are avalaible from the table page.
Table Page
Objects 594
Epochs 2207
Papers 112
Thu Mar 2 15:58:33 CET 2017
Jupiter Trojans 80
Resonant objects (3:2, Plutinos) 53
Resonant (other) 30
Short Period Comets 136
Long Period Comets 14
Centaurs 44
Scattered Disc objects 43
Detached Disk objects 31
Cold Classical Disk objects 92
Hot Classical Disk objects 71


The plot page contains an extensive collection of colour-colour diagrams, histograms, reflectivity spectra, etc... They are available as GIF previews and vectorial EPS files.
Plot Page


All the plots and tables are available as one large PDF document.

Reference databases

The original, frozen databases are available here for reference: MBOSS-1, from the original Hainaut & Delsanti 2003 (PDF, ADS), and MBOSS-2 (ASCII) from the current paper.

Copyright: You may use the content of these pages, including in publications of any type, provided you make reference to the original paper
Hainaut, Boehnhardt & Protopapa (2012) A&A 546, A115 [ BibTeX | DOI | arXiv | ADS ] and/or point to the online version at http://www.eso.org/~ohainaut/MBOSS , following the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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