TIMING OBSERVATION OF ASTEROID OCCULTATION EVENTS

Exoplanet occultation, asteroid occultation,
solar research, comet observation, astrometry, etc.
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TIMING OBSERVATION OF ASTEROID OCCULTATION EVENTS

文章 PTS » 週一 10 9月, 2018 06:29

TIMING OBSERVATION OF ASTEROID OCCULTATION EVENTS

For new comers to timing observation of asteroid occultations, here is a brief guide:
a. You shoud have a well aligned mounting. Equatorial mount is desirable but altazimuth mounts are perfectly useful. GOTO mounts are useful but not a must.
b. Use a large telescope, with sufficiently long focus. A suitable choice is for a FOV of about 15 arcmin with your video imager.
c. Set the imager at its high ISO (or gain), as high as noise is acceptable, and carefully locate the target star. We can also BIN the imager by 2 or 4 to increase the sensitivity and at the same time increase the frame rate. It is not essentail to put the target star at the centre of the FOV, but try to include one or two brighter stars (if there is any) for better reference.
d. It is essential to TIME STAMP each frame.
d. At this point, the asteroid may or may not be visible in the FOV, either because it is still outside of the FOV, or too faint for your setup, or both.
e. If the asteroid is visible, we can take snap shots or video clips for a record/reference.
f. When occultation is approaching, the asteroid (if it is visible) will merged with the target star long before first contact. At this point, we can lower the ISO or GAIN to reduce the brightness of the target (asteroid+star) so that it is just visible in the frame, and start video recording. If the asteroid is not visible, video recording should start several minutes BEFORE the predicted time.
g. If occultation really happens, the target may become invisible at FIRST CONTACT, and become visible again after LAST COTACT. Video recording should continue for a few minutes after this.
h. Post-observation work include frame-by-frame inspection of the video clip to determine the times of first and last contact. Make an estimate of the errors of these times. Prepare a report of your data. Please refer to: http://www.asteroidoccultation.com/observations/

Some old result can be found here: http://sendaiuchukan.jp/data/occult-e/occult-e.html

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