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Post Info TOPIC: Pluto Occultation June 2011


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RE: Pluto Occultation June 2011
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2011-06-23+27 Pluto+Charon+Hydra occultation

The Meudon group (Sicardy, Widemann, etc), the MIT/Williams group (Person, Bosh, Pasachoff), and the PHOT SwRI/Wellesley group (Young etc.) are all chasing two bright events in June, 2011. Both are very bright in the IR, being brighter than Pluto in I, J, H, and K. The June 27 star is brighter than Pluto in B and V as well. The June 23 star is occulted by both Pluto and Charon, and the June 27 star is occulted by both Pluto and Hydra. There is a very faint star on June 23 that is also a possible Nix occutation.
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Occultations of PPM stars by Pluto 2000-2050 (< 30")

  Star    RA(1950)      Dec(1950)     V    UT Date   UT Time SpT  Julian Date 

234623  18:27:15.623  -18:45:50.05  5.50 2011-05-05  9:35:18 K0 2455686.899516
234772  18:33:17.716  -19:19:44.36  9.40 2012-02-13  7:39:13 B8 2455970.818896
234772  18:33:17.716  -19:19:44.36  9.40 2012-06-09 19:53:34 B8 2456088.328861
234617  18:26:57.048  -19:32:40.25  9.30 2012-08-14 12:06:02 F8 2456154.004191
269249  19:00:42.581  -20:39:06.10  9.50 2015-05-30 12:04:29 F0 2457173.003111
269269  19:01:34.023  -21:32:49.97  9.00 2016-10-31  3:01:50 K0 2457692.626274
269784  19:23:20.476  -21:52:38.84  5.60 2018-07-03 18:40:26 K0 2458303.278073
269971  19:31:08.572  -22:12:50.50  8.40 2019-07-10 20:21:19 K2 2458675.348131

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Pluto and two of its moons are occulting two stars in June. An occultation is when a body passes between us and a star. By watching the starlight fade out, we measure the atmosphere on Pluto and the sizes and positions of its airless moons.
Like a solar eclipse, we need to be in just the right place at the right time. Pluto and its large moon Charon occult a star as seen from various Pacific Islands and California/Baja California on June 23. On June 27, Pluto occults a star from many of the same islands, and its small moon Hydra occults the same star as seen from Australia. We are trying to look at Pluto and Charon from about a dozen telescopes, including two portable 14-inch telescopes funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. The project is also being supported by NASA's Planetary Astronomy program, NASA's New Horizons mission, and the Southwest Research Institute.

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PC20110623 Occultation June 23, 2011

2011 June 23 11:24:30 00:00:22 UT

PH20110627 Occultation June 27, 2011
2011 June 27 14:18:39 00:00:21 UT



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