29P/S-W ockulterar stjärna 8 dec

SAAF's ockultationssektion
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29P/S-W ockulterar stjärna 8 dec

Post by jwarell »

Richard Miles, BAA Comet Section, informerar om en ovanlig ockultation av 29P/Schwassmann-wachmann 1. Den sker sent 8 december i ett ca 60 km brett stråk över norra Götaland och södra Svealand. Möjligen kan stjärnan påverkas även utanför denna zon om koman är tillräckligt tät.

Observationer med stora teleskop som kan fånga fenomenet efterfrågas, helst med driftskanning. Det är väl högst osäkert om tillräckligt stora teleskop finns tillgängliga och körklara i området. Annars får man integrera längre tid och se om man kan detektera någon ljusstyrkeminskning.

29P är normalt av mag 16 men når 12-13 vid ljusstarka utbrott (ej troligt vid denna tidpunkt).

Mvh Johan


In the late evening of Tuesday 8th December 2020, the 64-km nucleus of Comet
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, along with its inner coma, are predicted to
occult a 14th magnitude star in the constellation Aries as seen from Russia,
Finland, Sweden, Norway, UK and Ireland. The star will be favourably placed
high in the moonless sky as seen from the UK.

The path crosses Scotland about 23:24 UT and so in this case (and for other
parts of the UK) the recommended observing window is 23:21 to 23:27 UT. For
Sweden, the times will be about 1 minute earlier.

The position of the magnitude 14.7R star involved is R.A. 02h 18m 09.6s,
Dec. +25° 19' 05".
The expected maximum duration of the occultation by the nucleus is 5.0 s but
there is good reason to believe that secondary events involving a partial
dimming of the star may also be seen if a debris disk or shell exists
embedded within the inner coma. The most likely times for secondary events
are within 60 seconds either side of closest approach. Similarly,
observations from locations up to 1000 km or so from the nominal shadow
track may detect partial dimming of the star.

As far as I know, this event will be the first opportunity to probe the 29P
system by the occultation method. Telescopes of 25-cm aperture or larger
(the larger the better) together with a sensitive integrating video camera
are recommended. Alternatively if you wish to try using an integrating CCD
or CMOS camera then the drift-scan method would be especially useful for
detecting possible fades caused by debris shells or rings.

Importantly, 29P exhibits occasional strong outbursts and so the nucleus is
usually embedded in a faint coma. Good seeing and good telescope focus will
be important in detecting any changes in the intensity of the starlight
throughout the long observing window. The last strong outburst of 29P was on
November 25th and the pseudonucleus has been fading since that time. If no
further outbursts happen over the next 8 days then we should be in for a
fairly unobstructed view of the pseudonucleus of the comet.

Josselin Desmars of the Lucky Star Team
(https://lesia.obspm.fr/lucky-star/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) and Mike Kretlow of CORA
(Collaborative Occultation Research on Asteroids) have independently
generated predictions for this event. Thank you both!
Mike's predictions are now available online, where you can click on the path
dots and get information such as the predicted time in an info popup. See:
https://astro.kretlow.de/occpred/occ/342050/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (Mike's latest)
https://astro.kretlow.de/occpred/occ/342021/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (JPL-H)

Please report positive and negative observations to:

Clear skies all and good luck,
Richard Miles

P.S. Please consider distributing this alert to others, such as local
astronomy groups in the countries involved, who have suitable equipment to
observe this event. Thank you.
Lindby Observatory | IAU-kod K60 | Bortle 3,5 | ZLM 7.2
T52 | T38 | T25 | T25 | T22 | B10
Svensk AmatörAstronomisk Förening | http://www.saaf.se/
Comet Observation Database | https://cobs.si/
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