This tool allows you to display positions and trajectories of asteroids and comets deduced from their orbital elements. To get information about one of the commands in this tool, left click on it in the image below:
The Auto import button allows you to download automatically from the Internet orbital elements of observable comets and certain classes of asteroids. It is the fastest way to update the orbital elements loaded in C2A and it is advisable to use this tool first. Clicking the button invokes the following dialogue box:
The orbital elements that you can import are as follows:
By default, these are the observable comets from the Planet Center (MPC) along with 500 primary asteroids from the Bowell catalogue which are imported. Note that the dialogue box contains an option to overwrite all existing orbital elements. It is advisable to leave this option active, or successive imports will result in duplications appearing in the list of loaded objects. Indeed, C2A does not eliminate duplications when two objects of the same name are successively loaded (since you could use the different elements for the same object), except if you check the option Overwrite objects with the same name, in which case C2A check if an object with same name is already loaded and delete it if it is the case (take care that this possibility can considerably slow the import process down in case there is a large number of objects to import).
It is also advisable to select a single source for asteroids. Indeed, a given asteroid may be present in several sources, so it could then appear several times in the list managed by C2A.
You must of course be connected to the Internet to achieve automatic import of orbital elements. Once the import has been completed, you must close the window using the Close button.
The section How to display asteroids and comets explains step by step how to display positions and trajectories derived from orbital elements. The section How to declare orbital elements in a file provides the syntax to use in order to declare orbital elements for asteroids and comets in a text file.
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