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The Minor Planet Observer
Palmer Divide Observatory

2007 Shoemaker Grant Recipient

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External Links
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Buy MPO Software

MPO Support

CALL web site

Society for Astronomical Sciences


Lightcurve Analysis
Image Processing
Moving Object Search
Variable Star Search


MPO Canopus

Supported Formats

  • FITS (8/16/32/64-bit)
  • SBIG
  • BMP
  • JPEG

General Features

  • High precision astrometry and photometry

  • FITS-SBIG Conversion

  • Orbits calculator

  • UCAC3 DVD included.

Astrometry Features

Photometry Features

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Buy MPO Canopus


"This is a terrific program!" – G.F, CA

"I'm very happy with Canopus! After struggling through a couple of asteroid photometry analyses using another program and spreadsheet, the automated features in Canopus make it a dream, and I've been able to share/merge light curve data with a couple of other observers."B.B, CA

"I'm very impressed with the ability of Canopus to make astrometric measurements with just a few mouse clicks. The semi-automatic and automatic alignment methods work perfectly well with my images, the results are always reliable. To get started was a snap thanks to the well-written Users Guide and the PDF-documents. Great software indeed." – W.W., Germany

"The automatic features in the Lightcurve Wizard are just amazing time savers.   I continue to be impressed with the quality and sophistication of this software suite." - J.B., CA

About MPO Canopus

MPO Canopus is a full-featured astrometry and photometry program capable of providing high accuracy results in both fields.

With just one program you can process and measure your images, do photometric transforms, generate lightcurves, analyze periods and times of minimum, look for new asteroids or new variables, and much more.

More than 2500 astrometric positions have been submitted by Florissant/Palmer Divide Observatory to the Minor Planet Center using Canopus. Thousands more observations have been sent in by satisfied Canopus users around the world.

Canopus is rapidly gaining a reputation for its unique concentration on asteroid and variable star lightcurve work. Special features built into Canopus make measuring images and analyzing lightcurve characteristics simple and easy. In just a few minutes, you can setup, measure 150-200 images, and start analyzing the lightcurve data. You can easily combine data from several nights and even different observers. Canopus has been used at the Palmer Divide Observatory to generate and publish almost 200 asteroid lightcurves and more than 400 total by users in North America, Europe, South America, Japan, and Australia.

Canopus was the first to incorporate Alan Harris' industry standard Fourier analysis algorithm for period determination in a program for general use by the amateur community.

It has been used by observers world wide to publish almost 2000 lightcurves in juried publications and discover more than a dozen binary asteroids. There is no substitute for a proven record of success!

PhotoRed (Photometric Reductions)

PhotoRed is a utility within MPO Canopus that that makes reducing Canopus data to standard magnitudes quick and easy. PhotoRed determines the nightly extinction, transforms, and zero points using your images of standard fields. Once you have those values, you import the Canopus data into PhotoRed, convert the magnitudes to standard values, and export the data back for Canopus to use.

PhotoRed includes provisions to convert Clear (unfiltered) observations to standard V, assuming you have at least some images in V of the target and a reference field. Higher accuracy can be achieved by having additional images in B or R.


DVD – $65. Includes expanded MPOSC3 with ~300M stars, UCAC2 catalog, and sample images. The UCAC3 DVD from the USNO is included at no additional charge, while supplies last.

Price includes non-refundable shipping/handling fee for orders to North America. Orders are sent Priority (U.S.) or First Class (North America). Add $10 per order (non-refundable) for Air Mail elsewhere. (1 pound limit. Additional charges may apply for heavier shipments).

Buy MPO Canopus


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This page was last updated on 01/19/11 15:57 -0700.
All contents copyright (c) 2005-2011, Brian D. Warner
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