[BAA Comets] BAA comet observations in COBS

Nick James ndj at nickdjames.com
Fri Jul 24 22:00:41 BST 2015

At the European Comet Conference held in early June one of the topics of 
discussion was the archiving of comet observations. One of the key 
motivations for people when they submit their observations is the 
knowledge that the data will be available for use by researchers. This 
function used to be performed by the ICQ but that archive now appears to 
be effectively defunct. Our conclusion was that the COBS database was 
the best option and that this would have a long-term future.

The BAA has a considerable archive of ICQ format observations curated by 
Jonathan Shanklin and, through the hard work of Jure Zakrajsek, many of 
these have now been imported into COBS. As of today 31488 observations 
dating back to 1995 have been imported. Observations of 371 different 
comets made by 169 observers are in this first batch.

Around 7000 records contain some form of formatting error but many of 
these should be resolved with some work. Also, there will be many older 
observations in the BAA archive but these will be more difficult to 
handle, particularly if they are not in electronic form.

You can find the COBS database here:



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