Herschel-PACS Solar System Object Observations Catalogue


103P/Hartley 2, PACS 70 micron postcard image image

103P/Hartley 2, PACS 70 micron radial profile

103P/Hartley 2, visible image


During its almost four years of cold mission, Herschel performed around 37000 science observations. The observing time was allocated to both Guaranteed Time (GT) and Open Time (OT) Programmes. Many excellent source catalogues have already been produced by these observing programs, however there are many observations that remained unexplored. To maximise the scientific return of the Herschel photometric observations, the Herschel/SPIRE Point Source Catalogue (HSPSC, Schulz el al. 2017) and the Herschel/PACS Point Source Catalogue (HPPSC, Marton el al. 2017) were generated. However, although between targeted and serepndipitous observations, the HSPSC and the HPPSC detected thousands of Solar System Objects, these were rejected in the filtering process, which identified and eliminated moving targets, leaving a homogeneous set of fixed targets but, in the process, removing an important sub-set of science targets from their final compilation.The motivation for the Herschel-PACS Solar System Object Observations Catalogue is to provide a catalogue similar to the HSPSC and the HPPSC that includes data for moving targets observed by Herschel.

Herschel performed 1693 observations of Solar System objects (4.5% of the total), which represent 170 individual objects, including 5 planets and 6 of their satellites, 14 comets, 107 TNOs and 38 other asteroids. These measurements have been only partially exploited and to facilitate their analysis we have compiled these observations in the Herschel Catalogue of Solar System Object Observations (SSOO).

We have compiled these observations, including with them published photometry, plus a detailed classification of the observed bodies, a complete ancillary information as well as physical circumstances of the observations (phase angle, heliocentric distance, etc.) to facilitate a search for correlations between properties. For objects without published photometry, we analysed 1287 photometric observations from PACS. We used the science ready maps in the Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE)v15.0.0 and due to the diversity of the 170 SSO (e.g. TNOs, planets) we had to develop a pipeline for applying point source aperture photometry to the different bodies. The quality of the measurements had been analysed taking into account the source flux, sky background and published results from different types of bodies and the flux densities of the SSOs.

This Solar System Object catalogue is released initially as two volumes:

In this first volume, we present an atlas of images, physical circumstances of observation, photometric radial profiles, radial profile fits and photometry in multiple angular and physical aperture sizes for the ten active comets observed by Herschel that are clearly extended targets: this information we make available so that it can be used for modelling, or for comparative studies. Of these, five are numbered, short or intermediate period objects and five are dynamically new objects.

Click to download the Explanatory Supplement.

Click to download the Data (CSV file. 400Kb)

Click to see a full listing of available files.


  • The Herschel Catalogue of Solar System Object Observations.

In this second volume, present the main body of the catalogue, with a full listing of all Herschel targeted observations of SSOs taken with the entire suite of Herschel instrumentation (HIFI, PACS and SPIRE). We include both photometry compiled from the literature for sources with published data and that measured systematically and homogeneously by ourselves for those that do not. both measured in the confection of this catalogue and published photometry compiled from the literature and details of all spectroscopic observations of SSOs carried out by Herschel. All the observations are completed with physical circumstances and such ancillary data as is necessary to place the Herschel data in its proper context.

Click to download the Explanatory Supplement

Click to download the Data

Click to see a full listing of available files

This volume will be released in Autumn 2018.