Mid-Atlantic Occultations to mid September 2013 - Updated 2013 Aug. 1
Small cusp-angle graze of omega2 Tauri recorded with 80mm remote systems in Minnesota last August
Another similar graze of 6.2-mag. ZC 798 will occur over parts of Richmond, VA tonight; clear sky is expected. There are also two asteroidal occultations in the greater DC - Virginia region tonight and a total lunar occultation visible throughout the eastern USA.
For non-astronomers, "occultation" is a term that astronomers use for an eclipse of a star by an asteroid or by the Moon. Click here for the latest, most detailed information about tonight's grazing occultation in the Richmond area (it will also be visible along a path stretching farther southwest, to Texas) and click here for the most detailed information about tonight's two asteroidal occultations visible throughout the area, with the faint (136) Austria event at 2:30am and the better (585) Bilkis occultation at 3:14am. There is also a total lunar occultation reappearance of 6.7-mag. ZC 796 visible throughout the eastern USA shortly after 5am; see the total lunar occultation section below for more about it. Click here, and then click on "Video" on the Jan. 19th line, to see Steve's spectacular video of the Agamemnon occultations of 2012 Jan. 19. Click here for maps and other information about this remarkable occultation that showed that the large Trojan asteroid (911) Agamemnon probably has a satellite. Brad Timerson has placed on YouTube the video that I obtained of the omega2 Tauri graze on August 11th with the northern remote 80mm refractor "midi" system that shows 6 disappearances and 6 reappearances of the star. You can see it here. More information about that graze is here. _______________________________________________ Mid-Atlantic Planetary & Asteroidal Occultations to mid September 2013 2013 dur. Ap. Date Day EDT Star Mag. Asteroid dmag s " Location May 15 Wed 3:08 TYC56011009 11.2 Titania 2.4 5 7 e&sSC,cenGA,TX Jun 15 Sat 1:04 2UC24860290 11.7 Prymno 1.2 6 7 sSC,GA,nTX,sCA Jul 26 Fri 3:12 PPM 720027 9.8 Aquitania 0.8 11 4 ON,seMI,IN,TX Aug 1 Thu 3:48 TYC17321826 11.7 Cheruskia 2.5 10 7 eNC,cVA,wMD,wPA Aug 2 Fri 2:30 2UC29708788 12.8C Austria 0.4 6 10 w&nVA,sMD;DC? Aug 2 Fri 3:14 TYC57150408 11.3 Bilkis 3.1 6 7 DE,sMD,VA;DC? Aug 3 Sat 0:40 SAO 185777 9.5 Viipuri 6.9 6 4 VA,TN;DC,MD? Aug 14 Wed 21:41 2UC29121877 12.1 Comacina 1.9 18 8 eOH,WV,wVA,eSC Aug 21 Wed 21:34 TYC56933502 11.5 Austria 1.7 7 7 ePA,MD,DC,eVA Aug 22 Thu 0:43 TYC74282586 10.1 Hubble 6.9 5 5 n&wNY,nwPA,nOH Aug 26 Mon 22:37 2UC23487170 10.8 Aquitania 0.7 13 6 wOH,eKY,wNC,GA Sep 6 Fri 1:19 2UC27942409 12.5 Kythera 1.3 9 8 seVA,NC,SC,nGA Sep 6 Fri 21:55 SAO 187505 9.5 America 5.0 5 4 eNC,eVA,NJ;MD? Sep 9 Mon 3:51 TYC24800357 10.0 Abastumani 5.9 3 5 eNC,eVA,sMD,DE Sep 12 Thu 22:28 TYC68770920 11.4 Nanon 2.8 12 7 nOH,nPA,NY,sNE We now have "final" astrometric updates for all of the events listed above that occur before July 14. Stars with designations starting "2UC" are UCAC2 stars; their magnitudes are not as accurate as the other catalogs so they might be half a magnitude or more fainter than the listed mag.; if near the limit of your telescope, checking the star's some night before the event is recommended. Observers should watch these from convenient home or near-home locations without making a significant mobile effort, except for some of the better events mentioned below, where the chances for an occultation warrant an expedition from the DC region, weather permitting. A "C" following the star's magnitude means that the mag. given is not the star's magnitude, but is the combined mag. of the star and the asteroid; add the dmag to it for the mag. of the asteroid (which is what you will see in case of an occultation). Standard 2-letter designations are used for States and Canadian provinces, and for some countries. I use NE for New England, LI for Long Island (NY), CC for Cape Cod (MA), and c for central. Either use Occult Watcher, or find the event on Steve Preston's Web site to see a map of the path, where you can see which States and Canadian provinces are in or near the path. Unless the star is relatively bright, I've eliminated events with distances greater than 650 km (expeditions are possible to outside the Mid-Atlantic region for bright stars involving reasonably large asteroids). But it is necessary to look at a map to be sure that an event might be visible from the Mid- Atlantic region (which I define as including OH, PA, and NJ south to SC, but I generally exclude faint events in SC). If you live within the predicted paths for any of the above events, or within the 2-sigma uncertainty limits, please try to observe them from convenient home locations. Details of observations of previous events, have been, or soon will be, posted on Brad Timerson's North American asteroidal occultation results page. I only list above, and give some information below, about events that have not been analyzed (some of the tapes not reviewed carefully) or that have been observed recently. May 15: Roger Venable recorded a short occultation at one of three stations that he set up in Georgia, but equipment failures prevented observations from the other two. Ernie Iverson in Texas was clouded out only seconds before an occultation might have occurred, but David Oesper in west Texas was successful. June 15: Roger Venable recorded the occultation by Prymno at one station, and had no occultation at a second station in Georgia. July 26: The star is TYC 5719-00866-1, spectral type F0. Although this is outside the Mid-Atlantic region, a multi-station expedition was undertaken since it was a Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) priority event, with limited funding provided for a few observers to travel to set up multiple stations. I made plans to try to observe it from s. Michigan or n. Indiana, but the last weather forecasts were too poor to warrant making that trip. Scotty Degenhardt and Ted Blank successfully ran about 10 stations south of San Antonio, TX; 4 of them (3 by Ted, 1 by Scotty) recorded the occultation by this rare type L asteroid with miss stations on both sides. Mike McCants made a visual timing from his home in Austin, TX. The path shifted towards the northwest and was narrower than the predicted path; you can see the the observed profile here. Aug. 1: The IR weather satellite images and surface reports show that the Cheruskia occultation was clouded out for nearly all eastern North American locations in or near the predicted path. Aug. 2, Austria: This faint occultation will be very difficult with the 13.2-mag. star and the small magnitude drop; visual observers will have little chance to observe it, but with moderately large telescopes, CCD drift scans might record it. The current weather forecasts show that it should clear up, or mostly so, by the time of this event across our region, although clouds are likely to linger in New Jersey and Delaware. At least, the star field should be easy to find, with the target star about 0.6 deg. east of M11 and not far from relatively bright stars in southern Aquila. Finder charts of different scales to locate the target star, and other event details for this newly-added (here) event are at Steve Preston's page for it here. Aug. 2, Bilkis: This event 44 min. after the Austria event is better, both with a brighter star (mag. 11.3) and wider path (higher chance for an occultation); with a 3-mag. drop, it should be easy to observe visually with medium-size or large amateur telescopes. Although the Austria and Bilkis star fields are only a few deg. apart, the Bilkis field is more difficult, so pre-pointing will probably be easier for locating the target; Ernie Iverson has prepared some pre-point charts for the event. Since the predicted path passes between Richmond and Washington, observers in the southern DC suburbs are more likely to have an event, but a north shift of the path is very possible so observers throughout the DC and Richmond areas are encouraged to try to observe this event from convenient locations. I hope to prepoint a telescope at home so my wife can turn on a video recorder to record the event, while I observe it from Hanover, VA, northeast of Richmond, in the path of the ZC 798 graze that occurs about another hour later; see the grazing occultation section below about that. Finder charts of different scales to locate the target star, and other event details for this good event are at Steve Preston's page for it here. Aug. 3: (2258) Viipuri is only a 27km asteroid with a large ephemeris uncertainty, so the chance for an occultation is only about 10%, worth trying from convenient locations, but not for mobile deployments. At least, it's a relatively bright star, TYC 6828-01457-1, spectral type K5. Finder charts of different scales to locate the target star, and other event details for this 9th-mag. event are at Steve Preston's page for it here. Aug. 21: The star has a companion, with separation 3". Sept. 6, (916) America: The star is TYC 6872-00334-1, spec. type A5. For these asteroidal occultations, see the path maps, detailed finder charts, and other info. at Steve Preston's Web site. Very detailed maps for most of these are on Derek Breit's interactive Web page that links to the very detailed maps and satellite imagery of =umaps.google.com with overlays of the occultation paths (in the google maps column). Also on Breit's Web site are station lists giving local circumstances, for many observer stations. It gives the predicted time of the event, distance from the updated central line, probability that an occultation will occur there, and altitudes of the star and the Sun. If your station is not in that list, please let me and Derek, firstname.lastname@example.org , know so that you can be added to future lists. There is also a column that has a list of stars with declinations similar to that of the target star, with offset times and declination differences, that can be used to pre-point a telescope to where the target star will be at the time of the occultation. There are at least a few bright stars that can be used to pre-point your telescope during the few hours before the event so that you don't have to try to find faint target stars directly. Events not on the above Web sites, generally for the fainter stars, are on Steve Messner's Web site. I recommend installing new software called Occult Watcher, where you input your position and it searches Steve Preston's predition Web site, informing you of all asteroidal occultations in your region during the next 4-5 weeks, giving probabilities and other details. Whenever a path is updated, the software lets you know. It also has provision for you to specify your observing intentions, and these are displayed along with those of other observers to help plan the overall coverage for the event. Hristo Pavlov in Sydney, Australia wrote this program; you can get it here. For reporting observations, even if the star is monitored and no occultation is seen, you should use the new report forms that you can get here and click on "Templates for Report Forms". Completed reports should be sent to email@example.com . Brad Timerson has created a comprehensive site about asteroidal occultations, including links to most other known Web sites worldwide with useful information (predictions and observations) about these events, here. He also collects, analyzes, and posts reports of, observations of these events observed in North America. ________ Lunar Grazing Occultations through mid September 2013 You can zoom in on some of these paths using Brad Timerson's interactive Google maps Web site. But you need to know the offsets for the graze zone in your area; we can help you determine that. Brad can usually add events not on his Web site by request to him at firstname.lastname@example.org . 2013 Date Day EDT Star Mag % alt CA Location, Notes May 12 Sun 20:56 ZC 846 8.9 8+ 17 6N Finksbrg,sTowsn,MiddlRiver,MD Aug 2 Fri 4:53 ZC 798 6.2 17- 25 1N Richmond,VA;RodoBch&Hebron,MD Aug 17 Sat 22:53 ZC 2763 6.5 88+ 36 12S *CarolinaBch,NC; MyrtleBch,SC Aug 18 Sun 0:53 ZC 2774 6.4 88+ 21 15S *Shpnbrg&Bthlm,PA;Londndry,NH Aug 28 Wed 5:06 SAO 93825 8.1 50- 59 3N *sSpgfld&Alxndra,VA;sBowie,MD Aug 30 Fri 5:58 SAO 95049 8.2 31- 51 3S *sAltoona & Selinsgrove, PA Sep 1 Sun 5:21 SAO 97074 8.3 15- 25 2S *IronBridgePark,sRichmond,VA Sep 2 Mon 4:53 SAO 97791 8.7 9- 10 3S *southern Virginia Notes: Some grazes will not be attempted if expeditions are undertaken for asteroidal occultations within 36 hours of the graze. * in the Notes column means that no DC-area expedition is planned. 2012 Aug. 11: I attended an astrodynamics conference in Minneapolis Aug. 12-16. I went there early because I noticed that this rather bright graze occurred there early the weekend before the conference (it was a graze of 4.9-mag. omega 2 Tauri 2 deg. from the north cusp on the dark side of the 35% sunlit waning crescent Moon). More information about that graze is here, including a link to the video of the remote station that recorded 12 events during this grazing occultation. May 12, ZC 846: The graze path passed just s. of Westminster, MD. The Sun altitude was -8 deg., low enough to see this graze. I lead an expedition for this graze. Click here for a map showing the path across north-central Maryland. I recorded only two occultations of the star; read about the results here. June 2: Not in the list above, but I observed a graze of 4.9-mag. lambda Piscium by an approximately 35% sunlit Moon from a location about 50 km southeast of Voronezh, Russia. I rode with Vladimir Belousov from Tula (which I reached by train from Moscow) to the graze site. I ran two 80mm "midi" video systems that were barely able to record 3 occultations of the star due to thin high clouds that increased the glare in the short focal length systems. Vladimir obtained a better recording of the events from his site between my two telescopes; he used a hand-guided long focal length refractor. A "sweet spot" plateau predicted by the Kaguya profile slipped just south of our location (due to declination proper motion error in the star's position) or we would have had more events. My telescopes were about 140m apart. Aug. 2: This graze has a good profile, but with a narrow multiple events zone that promises a lot of events. Weather forecasts show that the current clouds should move east out of our area and away from Richmond, but they are expected to linger over the Delmarva Peninsula. Consequently, I've decided to observe the graze from sites along US 301 in Hanover, VA, about 10 miles northeast of Richmond. If you want to join my expedition, meet me at the intersection of Beatty Farm Dr. and US 301, on the west side of US 301, near a place called "Through the Garden Gate", at 4:00 am; if you arrive at another time, call my cell phone, 301-526-5590. The meeting place is 0.1 mile south of Pine Ridge Rd (Rd 1930) and 0.1 mile north of the northern entrance from US 301 to Hanover High School; it is about 4 miles north of the US 301 - I-295 interchange. This aerial view shows the graze path in detail around US 301. Open fields to the east should give a good view of the Moon over the whole "best" graze zone, which is 400m wide, extending south from the predicted northern limit line. The graze path also passes over western and northern suburbs of Richmond, including Henrico; it is between the dark green and gray lines on this map of the northern Richmond area (if you live within the path, I encourage you to observe, but some multiple events will be visible for 3 or more miles farther south). Note that during the 3 hours before the graze, there are two asteroidal occultations, by asteroids Austria and Bilkis, which I will try to observe in the area; see above for details of those events. _______________________________________________ Total Lunar Occultations The better total lunar occultations through mid September 2013 visible from throughout the Washington-Baltimore greater metropolitan area are listed below. Some can be accurately timed by aiming a camcorder into a low-power eyepiece of your telescope and recording WWV with the audio. These predictions are for Greenbelt, MD. IOTA members were sent predictions for their location, generally accurate to a couple of seconds, at the beginning of the year. I also computed predictions for a few hundred other observers, likely for you or for a location near you, and will provide an appropriate .zip file upon request. You can also download IOTA's Occult 4 program at no cost here and compute your own predictions. That has the advantage that you can use it to create views of the Moon showing the locations of each reappearing star in the predictions that you generate. 2013 Date Day EDT Ph Star Mag % alt CA Sp. Notes Aug 2 Fri 5:04 R ZC 796 6.7 17- 27 80N A0 Sun altitude -12 deg. Aug 4 Sun 5:29 R SAO 96393 7.6 6- 13 32N A2 Sun alt. -8, azimuth 78 Aug 4 Sun 6:02 R NP Gem 6.0 6- 20 89N M1 Sun-2,ZC1072,close dbl? Aug 10 Sat 21:07 D SAO 138688 7.4 16+ 8 89S K2 Sun alt. -11,Azimuth256 Aug 14 Wed 22:53 D 47 Librae 6.0 57+ 15 76N B2 Az.230,ZC2275,mg2 8,".6 Aug 15 Thu 20:25 D SAO 184710 7.9 68+ 31 87S K5 Sun altitude -5 deg. Aug 15 Thu 21:54 D ZC 2425 5.9 68+ 27 41N G5 Mag2 11, ".4, PA 167d? Aug 17 Sat 0:09 D ZC 2591 6.2 79+ 20 74N K0 close double?? Aug 17 Sat 21:19 D ZC 2758 7.0 87+ 30 85N B2 Aug 17 Sat 22:32 D ZC 2763 6.5 87+ 32 45S M3 Mag2 10, sep. ".08 ? Aug 18 Sun 2:35 D ZC 2787 6.3 88+ 9 55S B8 Az. 238,mg2 9,".7,PA104 Aug 23 Fri 1:53 R SAO 128417 7.0 94- 51 26N G5 AA 331,very close dbl? Aug 23 Fri 3:05 R 25 Piscium 6.3 94- 53 61S A1 AA 238,ZC3515,spec.bin. Aug 23 Fri 5:57 R SAO 128489 7.2 93- 36 25N K2 Sun alt. -7, AA 331 deg Aug 24 Sat 3:55 R 60 Piscium 6.0 87- 58 13S G8 ZC 98 Aug 24 Sat 5:28 R 62 Piscium 5.9 87- 51 59N G8 Sun alt. -12, ZC 103 Aug 24 Sat 23:36 R SAO 109947 7.8 80- 20 33S K0 Aug 28 Wed 3:18 R ZC 617 6.6 50- 40 86S F6 Aug 30 Fri 2:13 R SAO 94899 8.1 32- 10 46S K0 Azimuth 73 degrees Aug 30 Fri 2:16 R ZC 884 8.4 32- 11 78N A5 Az. 74, close double? Aug 30 Fri 3:24 R SAO 94943 7.9 32- 23 88S A0 Aug 30 Fri 3:30 R SAO 94956 8.4 32- 24 29S K7 Aug 30 Fri 5:25 R SAO 95001 8.1 31- 46 51N B9 close double?? Aug 30 Fri 6:16 R SAO 95031 7.9 31- 55 87S B9 Sun altitude -4 deg. Aug 31 Sat 3:29 R SAO 96034 7.9 23- 14 25S A3 Azimuth 78 degrees Aug 31 Sat 3:51 R SAO 96038 7.8 23- 18 80S B9 Aug 31 Sat 5:33 R SAO 96090 8.3 23- 38 85N A2 =mags, sep. ".5,PA 185 Aug 31 Sat 6:01 R SAO 96110 7.3 23- 43 52N A2 Sun -7,mg2 11,".3,PA53 Aug 31 Sat 6:12 R ZC 1040 6.4 22- 45 84N A2 Sun-5,mg2 8,".2,PA159? Sep 1 Sun 3:56 R SAO 97002 7.7 16- 10 82S M* Azimuth 77 Sep 1 Sun 5:36 R SAO 97074 8.3 15- 28 25S G5 Mag2 8,".2,PA 159 deg. Sep 3 Tue 5:49 R ZC 1372 7.8 4- 10 61S K0 Sun -10, Azimuth 85 Sep 9 Mon 20:59 D ZC 2091 7.7 21+ 7 61S K2 Azimuth 243 degrees Sep 9 Mon 21:10 D KU Librae 7.2 21+ 5 63S G6 Az. 245,SAO 158720 Sep 13 Fri 19:20 D SAO 161619 7.2 64+ 30 56S K1 Sun alt. -1 deg. Sep 13 Fri 20:05 D SAO 161643 8.0 65+ 32 83N F5 Sun alt. -10 deg. Sep 13 Fri 21:06 D X 44341 7.5 65+ 30 71N K5 Sep 13 Fri 21:20 D SAO 161680 7.9 65+ 30 67S K1 Sep 14 Sat 0:03 D ZC 2715 6.3 66+ 12 73S M4 Az. 233, close dbl? Sep 16 Mon 0:06 D ZC 3021 7.3 86+ 31 56N K0 Maybe close double? D following the time denotes a disappearance, while R indicates that the event is a reappearance. When a power (x; actually, zoom factor) is given in the Notes, the event can probably be recorded directly with a camcorder of that power with no telescope needed. The times are for Greenbelt, MD, and will be good to within +/-1 min. for other locations in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan areas unless the cusp angle (CA) is less than 30 deg., in which case, it might be as much as 5 minutes different for other locations across the region. Some stars in Flamsteed's catalog are in the wrong constellation, according to the official IAU constellation boundaries that were established well after Flamsteed's catalog was published. In these cases, Flamsteed's constellation is in parentheses and the actual constellation is given in the notes following a /. Mag is the star's magnitude. % is the percent of the Moon's visible disk that is sunlit, followed by a + indicating that the Moon is waxing and - showing that it is waning. So 0 is new moon, 50+ is first quarter, 100+ or - is full moon, and 50- is last quarter. The Moon is crescent if % is less than 50 and is gibbous if it is more than 50. Cusp Angle is described more fully at the main IOTA Web site - see above. Sp. is the star's spectral type (color), O,B,blue; A,F,white; G,yellow; K,orange; M,N,S,C red. Also in the notes, information about double stars is often given. "Close double" with no other information usually means nearly equal components with a separation less than 0.2". "mg2" or "m2" means the magnitude of the secondary component, followed by its separation in arc seconds ("), and sometimes its PA from the primary. If there is a 3rd component (for a triple star), it might be indicated with "mg3" or "m3". Double is sometime abbreviated "dbl". Sometimes the axis angle (AA) is given; it is aligned with the Moon's rotation axis and can be used to estimate where a star will reappear relative to lunar features. The selenographic latitude is AA -270. For example, AA 305 - 310 is near Mare Crisium. Many more total occultations will be visible with 5" and larger telescopes than are listed here. If you want to try to observe some of these events, it is better to use predictions computed for your location, such as those given in the IOTA annual predictions that have been distributed to IOTA members, and are available to others upon request. ________________________________________________________ Timing equipment and even telescopes can be loaned for most expeditions that we actually undertake; we are always shortest of observers who can fit these events in their schedule, so we hope that you might be able to. Information on timing occultations is . Good luck with your observations. Techniques for timing occultations using whatever resources that you may have are described here. Much information about observing occultations of all types is in "Chasing the Shadow: The IOTA Occultation Observer's Manual" available for free download here. _____________________________ David Dunham, 2012 August 1 Phones home 301-220-0415; office 240-228-5609; cell 301-526-5590 office e-mail email@example.com Moscow cell 011-7-916-0929487 home e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .