Mapping the IAU/MPC observatory codes using Internet resources

This listing has been generated on 01-26-2002. Updates will be made on an approximate bimonthly mode.


A listing of all astrometric observatories is given, listed at the MPC ( and linked with WWW pages at Heppenheim (


The position of each observatory has been calculated by a small self-written QBasic-BASIC program. You may download the ZIP file. But it's only as is software - it works only, if you know QBasic! The program generates also with internal and external paths and files all Web pages.

The geocentric latitude as given as the sine and cosine in the MPC listing, has been transformed into geographical latitude by the formula

tan (geocentric latitude) = 0.99330546 tan (geographic latitude).
The formula is taken from Wolfgang Wepner, Mathematisches Hilfsbuch für Studierende und Freunde der Astronomie, Dr. Vehrenberg KG, Düsseldorf 1982.

The position may be up to 200 m off. The exact reason is unknown.

Mailing list

In the time of electronic communication you can also subscribe to the mailing list of CODE-MAP. Just fill out your e-mail adress and click on the join e-group button! Now you get e-mail notices of layout and other important updates.

Subscribe to code-map
Enter your e-mail address:
code-map archive
A group hosted by


If you find any error, please mail me the error for correction. Thank you!

The maps

Using internet resources you can locate each observatory for a possible visits by clicking on the links below. Longitudes are alle given as East. Latitudes has a sign.

Eight maps with different scales will be presented: 1:5.000, 1:20.000, 1:100.000, 1:300.000, 1:1.000.000, 1:3.000.000, 1:10.000.000 and 1:30.000.000. Sometimes some maps will be leave clear, because MapBlast cannot produce the scale. If you find your observatory stands beside the real position please correct your position and send it to the MPC! The reason in most times of a wrong position in the map is a latitude, which is geocentric instead of geographic, as Marsden want it! To compare it, I give both latitudes!

The listing

Each line consists of the station code of the observatory, the position on earth as geographical longitude and geographical latitude in degrees, (arc) minutes and seconds (L/L), the name of the observatory and in parenthesis the geocentric latitude (see paragraph above).

There is also a fast access page for the stations, a compressed map page with a map at a constant scale for all observatories, a new observatory map page with a map at a constant scale for all new observatories and a changed observatory map page with a map at a constant scale for all changed observatories.

Author of this page: Jost Jahn, Bahnhofstr. 12, D-29525 Uelzen, Germany, Tel.: +49-581-31160, FAX: +49-581-31165, e-mail:

URL of this page: