(56) Melete occults 2UCAC 35905485 as recorded in Gardnerville, NV

On December 13, 2013 at 10:26:26 (UT) asteroid (56) Melete occulted star 2UCAC 35905485 in the constellation Monoceros and was video recorded from my location in Gardnerville, NV. According to Wikipedia, Melete is a large and dark main belt asteroid. It is a rather unusual P-type asteroid, probably composed of organic rich silicates, carbon and anhydrous silicates, with possible internal water ice. It has a diameter of 134 km and a visual magnitude of 13.0. Melete was discovered by Hermann Goldschmidt from his balcony in Paris, on September 9, 1857. It’s orbit was computed by E. Schubert, who named it after Melete, the Muse of meditation in Greek mythology.

The occulted target star, for the event, is magnitude 13.1, and located on the northern edge of Monoceros. The predicted magnitude drop for the event was 0.7 with a maximum duration of 9.6 seconds.

At the predicted event time of 02:26 hrs (local) the skies were clear, temperature was 18 deg F and there was no wind. Final analysis of the recorded event, from my location, indicated a occultation duration of 8.782 (+/-) 0.107 seconds, and a “D” (Disappearance) time of 10:26:26.0136 (UT), (+/-) 0.053 seconds. The “D” time was approximately 2 seconds earlier than the predicted.

Below is the light curve for the event as generated by LiMovie and Excel.

Melete _Occult_LC