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Title: Results of two multi-chord stellar occultations by dwarf planet (1) Ceres
Author: A. R. Gomes-Jśnior, B. L. Giacchini, F. Braga-Ribas, M. Assafin, R. Vieira-Martins, J.I.B. Camargo, B. Sicardy, B. Timerson, T. George, J. Broughton, T. Blank, G. Benedetti-Rossi, J. Brooks, R. F. Dantowitz, D. W. Dunham, J. B. Dunham, C. K. Ellington, M. Emilio, F.R. Herpich, C. Jacques, P. D. Maley, L. Mehret, A.J.T. Mello, A.C. Milone, E. Pimentel, W. Schoenell, N. S. Weber

We report the results of two multi-chord stellar occultations by the dwarf planet (1) Ceres that were observed from Brazil on 2010 August 17, and from the USA on 2013 October 25. Four positive detections were obtained for the 2010 occultation, and nine for the 2013 occultation. Elliptical models were adjusted to the observed chords to obtain Ceres' size and shape. Two limb fitting solutions were studied for each event. The first one is a nominal solution with an indeterminate polar aspect angle. The second one was constrained by the pole coordinates as given by Drummond et al. Assuming a Maclaurin spheroid, we determine an equatorial diameter of 972 ± 6 km and an apparent oblateness of 0.08 ± 0.03 as our best solution. These results are compared to all available size and shape determinations for Ceres made so far, and shall be confirmed by the NASA's Dawn space mission.

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Asteroid Ceres (mag 9.1) is passing HD 190824 in the constellation Sagittarius on the 31st March 2015.

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Ephemeris

Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase     Mag
2014 04 01    14 04 45.3 +02 38 43   1.6669  2.6193   157.8     8.3     7.1
2014 04 02    14 04 00.6 +02 42 41   1.6635  2.6199   158.7     8.0     7.1
2014 04 03    14 03 15.0 +02 46 35   1.6604  2.6205   159.5     7.7     7.1
2014 04 04    14 02 28.4 +02 50 25   1.6576  2.6211   160.4     7.4     7.1
2014 04 05    14 01 41.0 +02 54 10   1.6550  2.6217   161.2     7.1     7.1
2014 04 06    14 00 52.8 +02 57 51   1.6526  2.6223   161.9     6.8     7.1
2014 04 07    14 00 03.8 +03 01 26   1.6506  2.6229   162.6     6.5     7.0
2014 04 08    13 59 14.2 +03 04 56   1.6487  2.6235   163.3     6.3     7.0
2014 04 09    13 58 23.9 +03 08 20   1.6472  2.6241   163.9     6.1     7.0
2014 04 10    13 57 33.0 +03 11 38   1.6459  2.6247   164.5     5.9     7.0
2014 04 11    13 56 41.7 +03 14 49   1.6449  2.6253   164.9     5.7     7.0
2014 04 12    13 55 49.9 +03 17 54   1.6441  2.6259   165.3     5.6     7.0
2014 04 13    13 54 57.7 +03 20 52   1.6436  2.6266   165.6     5.4     7.0
2014 04 14    13 54 05.2 +03 23 42   1.6434  2.6272   165.8     5.4     7.0
2014 04 15    13 53 12.4 +03 26 24   1.6435  2.6278   165.9     5.3     7.0
2014 04 16    13 52 19.4 +03 28 58   1.6438  2.6284   165.9     5.3     7.0
2014 04 17    13 51 26.3 +03 31 24   1.6444  2.6290   165.8     5.4     7.0
2014 04 18    13 50 33.1 +03 33 41   1.6452  2.6296   165.7     5.4     7.0
2014 04 19    13 49 39.8 +03 35 50   1.6463  2.6303   165.4     5.5     7.0
2014 04 20    13 48 46.6 +03 37 50   1.6477  2.6309   165.0     5.7     7.0
2014 04 21    13 47 53.5 +03 39 40   1.6493  2.6315   164.6     5.8     7.0
2014 04 22    13 47 00.5 +03 41 21   1.6512  2.6322   164.1     6.0     7.0
2014 04 23    13 46 07.8 +03 42 52   1.6534  2.6328   163.5     6.2     7.0
2014 04 24    13 45 15.3 +03 44 13   1.6558  2.6334   162.8     6.5     7.1
2014 04 25    13 44 23.2 +03 45 24   1.6585  2.6341   162.1     6.7     7.1
2014 04 26    13 43 31.5 +03 46 24   1.6615  2.6347   161.4     7.0     7.1
2014 04 27    13 42 40.3 +03 47 15   1.6647  2.6353   160.6     7.3     7.1
2014 04 28    13 41 49.5 +03 47 54   1.6682  2.6360   159.8     7.6     7.1
2014 04 29    13 40 59.4 +03 48 23   1.6719  2.6366   159.0     7.9     7.1
2014 04 30    13 40 09.9 +03 48 41   1.6759  2.6373   158.1     8.2     7.2


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Asteroid (1) Ceres is at Opposition in the constellation Virgo on the 15th April 2014

Magnitude: 7.0 
Distance to Earth: 1.644 AU
Distance to Sun: 2.628 AU 



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6-hour step finder chart animation of asteroid (1) Ceres.

Between the 5 - 7th June, 2013, the magnitude +8.8 asteroid (1) Ceres will pass ~1° from the star Pollux, in Gemini. 
It may just be possible to observe it through 10 x 50 binoculars



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Asteroid (1) Ceres passes less than one degree south of the second-magnitude star Beta Tauri (El Nath)

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Asteroid (1) Ceres makes its closest approach to the Earth (1.679 AU) on the 21st December, 2012



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Asteroid (1) Ceres is at Opposition on the 18th December, 2012.

Magnitude: 6.7
Distance to Earth: 1.685 au 
Distance to Sun: 2.668 au

Spoiler



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Asteroid (1) Ceres is 3° 38' from the Moon at 15:00 UT, 30th November, 2012

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Asteroid (1) Ceres is Stationary on the 31st October, 2012.

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