Minor Bodies in the Outer Solar System:

Magnitudes and Colours

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


2020-Apr-09: new release with 30 additional papers included.

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
ADS:2012A&26A...546A.115H BibTex

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) 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 723
Epochs 2662
Papers 153
Thu 9 Apr 11:39:11 CEST 2020
Jupiter Trojans 86
Resonant objects (3:2, Plutinos) 58
Resonant (other) 32
Short Period Comets 141
Long Period Comets 51
Centaurs 91
Scattered Disc objects 54
Detached Disk objects 33
Cold Classical Disk objects 94
Hot Classical Disk objects 83


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 [ADS | 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.
[ Feedback | O.R. Hainaut | H. Boehnhardt | S. Protopapa | ESO ]

Hosted by ESO - This is a private page: "Any view or statement made is not part of an official standpoint of ESO."