Identifications

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) uses the term "identification" to refer to the situations when:

  • Two or more tracklets are discovered to be the same underlying object and hence a new designation is created. We refer to this kind of link as ITF-to-ITF.
  • A tracklet is discovered to be the same underlying object as an existing designated object or of a NEOCP object. We refer to this kind of link as ITF-to-DES or ITF-to-NEOCP.
  • Two or more designated orbits are discovered to be the same underlying object and hence an identification is made between their designations. We refer to this kind of link as DES-to-DES.
  • Two or more objects on the NEOCP are linked together. We refer to this kind of link as NEOCP-to-NEOCP.

General Information

Submitting Identifications

Please note the submission form does not currently support:

  • The deletion of identifications.
  • Designations that need to be retired.
  • Identifications where some tracklets need to be redesignated before the identification can be processed.

Double Designations

A subset of identifications is made between objects designated within the same opposition. Historically, the MPC referred to these as "double designations". An example involves the double designation/identification made between 2017 SL83 and 2017 UH33.

As of June 1, 2020, the MPC will cease to use the "double designation" terminology and will simply refer to them as identifications.

Summary of Linkages


Every year, the MPC creates a summary report of all the identifications that have been submitted, accepted by our pipeline and then published.

2021 Summary
2022 Summary
2023 Summary


The Isolated Tracklet File (ITF)

The Isolated Tracklet File (ITF) containing Isolated Tracklets can be downloaded from here. Please ensure you have read this document.