Minor Planet

(60186) Las Cruces


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(60186) Las Cruces

This object, originally designated 1999 VH22, was named after the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Discovered 1999 Nov. 13 by David S. Dixon and Janet A. Stevens at Jornada Observatory, Las Cruces, NM, USA.

The citation for this minor planet reads as follows: "Las Cruces was founded in 1848 at a site along the Rio Grande river and has grown from a small settlement of about 120 persons to a city that is home to agriculture, industry and New Mexico State University. The clear, dry climate and elevation has attracted a number of astronomical observatories to the area."

The Astronomical Society of Las Cruces procured a plaque commemorating the naming of the (60186) for the City of Las Cruces. The Las Cruces Sun-News printed a page one article (below the fold). The article can be found here.

You can get an ephemeris (predicted positions) for this minor planet from the Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA. It really is a rather technical table of positions in Right Ascension (R.A.) which is like longitude in the sky and Declination (Dec.) which is like latittude. Just click the "Get Ephemerides/orbits" button below. If you want, there are more technical options below if you want to play with them.


A PDF document describing the use of the MPES (Minor Planet Ephemeris Service) is available.

Information on any known problems with this service is available.

Astrometric observations of any of the following objects should be sent directly to mpc@cfa.harvard.edu. Updated orbits will be available automatically through this page.

Display ephemerides or summary

The following objects are available:

    (60186) Las Cruces


By default, ephemerides are geocentric, begin now and are for 20 days at 1 day intervals.

Start date for ephemerides: Number of dates to output

Ephemeris interval: Ephemeris units: days hours minutes seconds

Observatory code:

Display positions in: truncated sexagesimal or full sexagesimal or decimal units

Display motions as: "/sec "/min "/hr °/day

Total motion and direction Separate R.A. and Decl. sky motions Separate R.A. and Decl. coordinate motions

Generate perturbed ephemerides for unperturbed orbits

Also display elements for epoch

Format for elements output: MPC 8-line

Show residuals blocks. The observations from Jornada Observatory are indicated by "715" while Desert Moon Observatory observations are indicated by "448" You can limit the residuals to one observatory by entering the observatory code .


Supplementary Information

The summary lists the current J2000.0 coordinates, visual magnitude and solar elongation of the selected minor planets, as well as information on the date of last observation (where available), forthcoming opposition data and details on the latest published orbit. The opposition data lists the date of the next opposition and the declination and visual magnitude at that time.

The elements supplied are the latest published elements for the specified objects. Elements will be found even if the designation you enter is a non-principal designation in an identification or if the object has been numbered.


The ephemerides supplied for minor planets and comets are perturbed (if the orbits were computed with perturbations) and can be generated over the time period 1900 to 2040. Objects with unperturbed orbit solutions will return unperturbed ephemerides. Objects must be identified in images by their motion, not by their apparent closeness to a predicted position.

The time-scale of the supplied ephemerides is UTC.

If you desire a topocentric ephemeris, enter your observatory code in the appropriate box. When local circumstances are displayed, the azimuths are reckoned westwards from the south meridian.

As an aide-mémoire, the packed form of the object's designation (as used on the astrometric observation record) is displayed immediately above the ephemeris.

This service utilises the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service, courtesy of the IAU's Minor Planet Center. It has been made possible by Process Software Corporation, and their excellent VMS Web server, Purveyor.

The calculations will be performed on the Tamkin Foundation Computing Network.

Return to the Desert Moon Observatory Home Page.