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{MPML} Asteroid names [Was: Discovery Status Reports?]

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  • Brian D. Warner
    Richard, Paraphrasing from the Preface to the Fifth Edition, the last printed edition: ************ The Fifth Edition will be the last full printing. Every
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 15 1:02 PM
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      Richard,

      Paraphrasing from the Preface to the Fifth Edition, the last printed edition:

      ************
      The Fifth Edition will be the last full printing. Every three years, corresponding to IAU
      General Assembly meetings, a booklet will be published that includes only those names
      added since the last publication.

      The Supplements to the DMPN will also contain corrections and amendments of earlier
      editions. The CD-ROM version is abandoned due to relatively slight demand.
      ************

      The upcoming Prague General Assembly _should_ be accompanied by the first Supplement. How
      much it will be, I have no idea. I wouldn't mind if it were paperback and on less
      expensive paper than used for the Fifth Edition.

      Nothing is free, especially publishing a book. When the demand is low, the cost is high
      because it costs X number of dollars to print the first book. Sure everyone says they want
      access, but they really mean only if it's free. When it comes to putting it on paper and
      binding the pages and neat package, then the number of people who want access _and_ are
      willing to pay goes way down.

      Others will have to address why the citations are not available on some web site, e.g.,
      off the IAU web site. The MPC is not the official naming body and so I wouldn't
      necessarily say that it should host and maintain that site. However, an argument could be
      made that it maintains or at least has ready access to the data anyway. We all know how
      well funded the MPC is. What's another round of duties?

      Would people be willing to pay an access fee for this database, just as they must for
      certain electronic features of the MPC? Someone has to pay the bills one way or the other.
      There is no such thing as truly free data.


      Clear Skies,
      Brian D. Warner
      Palmer Divide Observatory (716)
      MPO Canopus/PhotoRed Photometry Software
      http://www.MinorPlanetObserver.com

      Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link
      http://www.MinorPlanetObserver.com/astlc/default.htm
    • jcmerlin
      Few weeks ago I posted a message on this list about the availability of the asteroid citations. With some delay after MPC publication, the recent citations was
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 15 1:21 PM
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        Few weeks ago I posted a message on this list about the availability of the asteroid citations.
        With some delay after MPC publication, the recent citations was readable on the DMPN
        (Dictionary of Minor Planet Names) web site at the URL :
        http://192.129.24.166/dmpn/daten/vlite_server_ref.htm
        which is situated at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Heidelberg (Germany).
        But for some weeks this site is no more reachable.
        This site showed all citations not included in the Springer Verlag CD-Rom.

        I hoped that somebody from Heidelberg could be on the list to reply to the question but
        it is apparently not the case ?
        JCM


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Richard Kowalski" <kowalski@...>
        To: "David Healy" <healydave@...>
        Cc: "Raoul Behrend" <Raoul.Behrend@...>; "MPML" <mpml@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2006 9:32 PM
        Subject: {MPML} Asteroid names [Was: Discovery Status Reports?]


        > Quoting David Healy <healydave@...>:
        >
        > > ... It's a scandal that asteroid citations are
        > > not easily available. I think there's a book listing them up to a
        > > certain date, ...
      • Alan W Harris
        ... On the other hand, the volume of citation text in the Minor Planet Circulars is minuscule compared to the volume of the entire circulars. It would seem to
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 15 1:38 PM
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          At 01:02 PM 4/15/2006, Brian D. Warner wrote:

          >Would people be willing to pay an access fee for this database, just as
          >they must for
          >certain electronic features of the MPC? Someone has to pay the bills one
          >way or the other.
          >There is no such thing as truly free data.

          On the other hand, the volume of citation text in the Minor Planet
          Circulars is minuscule compared to the volume of the entire circulars. It
          would seem to be an almost negligible effort to distribute the citations to
          interested parties. For example, the monthly issue of new names is, I am
          sure, smaller than the volume of a single "Daily Orbit Update", an MPEC
          that I daily delete without even opening, unless there is some hot burning
          issue being debated in the MPML relating back to a DOU. As for "paying for
          it", I don't think any cost little enough could be assigned that would
          correctly correspond to the additional cost of electronic distribution, say
          in a monthly MPEC (along with the various "unusual asteroid" and
          "observable comets" monthly lists that I also delete instantly). On the
          other hand, as an untapped source of revenue, the MPC could likely sell
          this information, say as a small supplement to an annual subscription to
          IAUCs and MPECs, and bring in a few dollars more than the cost to produce
          the lists, and certainly a whole lot less than Springer-Verlag is going to
          charge for their annual "pamphlets". The irony is that doing the paper
          supplements through a private publishing house will likely cost more but
          yield less net profit (if any) than the MPC "just doing it", for some minor
          charge, or even none at all. The original "Dictionary of Minor Planet
          Names" had value in collecting together what information could be found
          about early namings. The more recent editions have simply added the
          citations as published in the Minor Planet Circulars. Reformatting these
          by a separate publishing house is pretty much a waste of time and
          resources, and I suspect doesn't really gain them any significant profit
          for their troubles because few will pay what it costs them to produce it.

          Cheers,

          Alan

          *******************************************************************
          Alan W. Harris
          Senior Research Scientist
          Space Science Institute
          4603 Orange Knoll Ave. Phone: 818-790-8291
          La Canada, CA 91011-3364 email: awharris@...
          *******************************************************************
        • Richard Kowalski
          ... snip ... Thanks Brian. I retract my use of the word free . Of course no data is truely without cost and I don t expect those involved to go uncompensated,
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 15 1:48 PM
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            Quoting "Brian D. Warner" <Brian@...>:

            > Richard,
            >
            > Paraphrasing from the Preface to the Fifth Edition, the last printed edition:
            >

            snip

            > Would people be willing to pay an access fee for this database, just as they must for
            > certain electronic features of the MPC? Someone has to pay the bills one way or the
            > other.
            > There is no such thing as truly free data.

            Thanks Brian.

            I retract my use of the word "free".

            Of course no data is truely without cost and I don't expect those involved to go
            uncompensated, as I said.

            I do think that $169 US is outrageous. I'd bet there are at least 4 people who would spend
            $50 on a copy to every one person that will be willing to pay $169 for the same item. It
            is my belief that S-V is limiting their market even further than necessary by their pricing.

            I guess it comes down to value over cost. I wonder how many people who use this reference
            feel that $169 for this data is a "good value"? I felt the edition I purchased was a
            reasonable value, considering I was told by the publisher that I would have access to
            updates via the website. I understanbd not having access to data I did not pay for, but to
            elimiunate my access to the data I had paid for, without notice or the ability to pay a
            fee for ongoing access to the database.

            That makes, in my opinion, my purchase of this Springer product a very poor value. I will
            have to be very hard pressed to spend another cent on any Springer product in the future.

            Richard
          • Brian D. Warner
            Alan, A good suggestion. I wonder if we ll see it happen. Clear Skies, Brian D. Warner Palmer Divide Observatory (716) MPO Canopus/PhotoRed Photometry Software
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 15 2:05 PM
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              Alan,

              A good suggestion. I wonder if we'll see it happen.


              Clear Skies,
              Brian D. Warner
              Palmer Divide Observatory (716)
              MPO Canopus/PhotoRed Photometry Software
              http://www.MinorPlanetObserver.com

              Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link
              http://www.MinorPlanetObserver.com/astlc/default.htm



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Alan W Harris" <awharris@...>
              To: "Brian D. Warner" <brian@...>
              Cc: "David Healy" <healydave@...>; "Richard Kowalski"
              <kowalski@...>; "Raoul Behrend" <Raoul.Behrend@...>; "MPML"
              <mpml@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2006 14:38
              Subject: Re: {MPML} Asteroid names [Was: Discovery Status Reports?]


              > At 01:02 PM 4/15/2006, Brian D. Warner wrote:
              >
              > >Would people be willing to pay an access fee for this database, just as
              > >they must for
              > >certain electronic features of the MPC? Someone has to pay the bills one
              > >way or the other.
              > >There is no such thing as truly free data.
              >
              > On the other hand, the volume of citation text in the Minor Planet
              > Circulars is minuscule compared to the volume of the entire circulars. It
              > would seem to be an almost negligible effort to distribute the citations to
              > interested parties. For example, the monthly issue of new names is, I am
              > sure, smaller than the volume of a single "Daily Orbit Update", an MPEC
              > that I daily delete without even opening, unless there is some hot burning
              > issue being debated in the MPML relating back to a DOU. As for "paying for
              > it", I don't think any cost little enough could be assigned that would
              > correctly correspond to the additional cost of electronic distribution, say
              > in a monthly MPEC (along with the various "unusual asteroid" and
              > "observable comets" monthly lists that I also delete instantly). On the
              > other hand, as an untapped source of revenue, the MPC could likely sell
              > this information, say as a small supplement to an annual subscription to
              > IAUCs and MPECs, and bring in a few dollars more than the cost to produce
              > the lists, and certainly a whole lot less than Springer-Verlag is going to
              > charge for their annual "pamphlets". The irony is that doing the paper
              > supplements through a private publishing house will likely cost more but
              > yield less net profit (if any) than the MPC "just doing it", for some minor
              > charge, or even none at all. The original "Dictionary of Minor Planet
              > Names" had value in collecting together what information could be found
              > about early namings. The more recent editions have simply added the
              > citations as published in the Minor Planet Circulars. Reformatting these
              > by a separate publishing house is pretty much a waste of time and
              > resources, and I suspect doesn't really gain them any significant profit
              > for their troubles because few will pay what it costs them to produce it.
              >
              > Cheers,
              >
              > Alan
              >
              > *******************************************************************
              > Alan W. Harris
              > Senior Research Scientist
              > Space Science Institute
              > 4603 Orange Knoll Ave. Phone: 818-790-8291
              > La Canada, CA 91011-3364 email: awharris@...
              > *******************************************************************
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Bill J Gray
              I recently realized that subscribers to the MPC s ECS (Extended Computer Service) _do_ have access to citations for most minor planets. One can go to the list
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 16 6:36 AM
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                I recently realized that subscribers to the MPC's ECS (Extended
                Computer Service) _do_ have access to citations for most minor planets.
                One can go to the list of discovery circumstances:

                http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/NumberedMPs.html

                and look up the object in question, and find out on which Circular
                it was cited. Then, if you're an ECS subscriber, you can go to
                MPCArchive at

                http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/ECS/MPCArchive/MPCArchive.html

                and dig out the Circular in question, and read it.

                The archived Circulars go back to 1979, and there's also a gap in
                1981, due to a damaged magnetic tape.)

                The major downside to this, of course, is that you have to have an
                ECS subscription, which runs a minimum of $31/month ($25 for ECS, plus
                $6 for the plain ol' CS you also will need). But you may already have
                the ECS for other reasons. ECS subscription info is at

                http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/services/Subscriptions.html

                The minor downside is that most low-numbered minor planets were
                named before 1979. So if you want to find out about, say, (1468)
                Zomba, this won't work.

                -- Bill
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