It is possible to visualise the orbits of all asteroids in our database by entering their name, provisional designation or catalogue number. The position along the orbit is computed at regular time intervals thus obtaining a three-dimensional animated plot of the asteroid trajectory in space. Through control panels it is possible to change in real-time the viewpoint, the zoom factor, the timescale and the direction of motion. Additional visualisation information (e.g. osculating distance from Sun and Earth) and options (e.g. planets selection) is also displayed.
In order to provide orbital plots more closely reflecting the actual dynamical evolution of an NEO, a refined modeling of the trajectory which includes planetary perturbations is available. The enhanced functionalities make use of high accuracy ephemeris which allow to correctly display the orbital changes due to Earth close encounters. When this is the case the "Simulation type" flag is turned from "Keplerian" to "Ephemerides".
When an object undergoes a close encounter with the Earth an the "Close Encounter" flag in the left control panel turns yellow and a geocentric diagram (including the orbit of the Moon) can be displayed by selecting the "Open Close Encounter Diagram" option.
When the orbital evolution becomes unreliable due to error propagation, a red flag appears warning not to use the trajectory displayed for accurate predictions.
Cometary orbits can be similarly visualised through the "Search for Comets" page.