**THE MULTIPLE
AXIS ELLIPSOIDS AS REFERENCE SURFACES FOR MAPPING SMALL CELESTIAL BODIES**

Maxim V.
Nyrtsov, Lev M. Bugaevsky, Philip J. Stooke

*103064,** Moscow, *

*Gorokhovsky per., 4 kartfak@miigaik.ru*

Nowadays the purposes of space exploration are study
of the Solar System and deep space objects, discovery of new celestial bodies,
their detailed exploration and transfer of this information to the Earth. For
celestial bodies whose shapes are different from a sphere or ellipsoid it is
possible to use the well known triaxial ellipsoid as a reference surface which
is mathematically calculated and shows the elongated figure of a body. But many
small bodies such as satellites, asteroids or nuclei of comets have more
complex figures than a triaxial ellipsoid can show.

For this purpose we can consider map projections
of non-spherical bodies which display the figure of the body clearly and
geographically correct, but the calculation of distortions in those projections
is a very complicated task.

Therefore directed by two purposes - to keep
the possibility of calculation of distortions and to keep geographical accuracy
- we suggest the use of multiple axis ellipsoids as reference surfaces.