Solar System Objects

Fourty-eight minor planets (and a few other solar system objects) were included in the Hipparcos Catalogue observations. The following animation shows the smoothed motion of these objects with time.

Trajectories of the 48 Hipparcos asteroids during the mission

(November 1989 - March 1993)
The first sequence in this animation shows the trajectories of minor planets (1) Ceres, (2) Pallas and (4) Vesta. Note the unusually large component of Pallas' motion perpendicular to the ecliptic.

In the next sequence, positions for all observed minor planets are given at incremental epochs during the mission for an observer at constant heliocentric longitude, and varying latitude above the ecliptic (given by the vertical scale on the right). (Only three of the minor planets are labelled.) The animation shows the motion of the minor planets over a certain time interval from a given observation latitude, before moving to views at successively lower observing latitudes. In general the Hipparcos observations did not cover a complete sidereal period.

The final image again shows the trajectories only for minor planets (1) Ceres, (2) Pallas and (4) Vesta.