There are two main belt asteroid occultation opportunities for teams located from:
Both campaigns are optional, but they provide great practice opportunities and will contribute to IOTA efforts. Participating teams are encouraged to sign up using OccultWatcher (or to contact John Keller so that he can sign your team up on OW). Details are provided below.
RECON Teams: North Lake OR to Portola CA
Date: 22 Jul 2017 at 06:21 UT
Recording Window: 06:20-06:23 UT
IOTA Details: http://www.asteroidoccultation.com/2017_07/0722_1428_58040.htm
RECON Teams: Bishop CA to Lake Havasu City AZ
Date: 23 Jul 2017 at 06:04 UT
Recording Window: 06:03-06:06 UT
IOTA Details: http://asteroidoccultation.com/2017_07/0723_76_58054.htm
Happy Fourth of July, RECON!!!
We wanted to provide a heads up about an exciting opportunity to measure Chiron, a 100-km Centaur with suspected ring structure(s)! We will have an event page up shortly, but the map below provided by LESIA at L’Observatoire de Paris shows that the probabilities of successfully recording this object are high and that the extended RECON network down to Arizona is well positioned to map any extended structures associated with the main body!
The event will occur early on the morning of Tuesday, August 15 around 11:51 UT (4:51AM PDT/MST). Twilight will be approaching during the occultation, but there should be plenty of time to get onto the field prior to this. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for details!
Our RECON event this Friday evening involving Centaur 07RG283 is going to be challenging to begin with, given that that target star (UC4-683-022040 in Perseus) is a very dim object at magnitude 16.3. While still within reach of our telescope-camera system, clear skies will be required.
Unfortunately, as the Clear Sky Clock sky forecast map below shows, clear skies this Friday evening will be hard to come by! In a rare reversal, sky conditions in Washington could be marginally better than the rest of the network, although even here things will be dicey. Such are the challenges of ground-based astronomy research. While we anticipate most sites will be clouded out, we appreciated all teams completing the RECON Campaign Observation Report Form, which will be available for one week following the event time.
Most of the RECON network was clouded, rained, or snowed out during our last event on December 11, 2016. A handful of sites in Southern Oregon/Northern California and Southern California/Arizona were able to record the star field and are uploading their video data for analysis, but the campaign was definitely limited by poor sky conditions for this final campaign of the 2016 calendar year.
Given the challenges that the network has had with clouds and such, we wanted to announce two promising optional campaigns in early January, which are also great practice opportunities to prepare for our next official campaign later next month.
Looking forward to 2017, our next full network campaign will be Monday evening, January 23 around 9:51PM PST / 10:51PM MST. With a 1-sigma uncertainty of just over 1,100 km, this campaign involving Centaur (471512) 12CG is our highest probability TNO opportunity for the month of January at 36%. We will be creating an event page shortly, and the sign-up form for this official campaign will go live on December 23.
Estimated as somewhere between 220-550 km in diameter, the shadow path of large Classical KBO (79360) Sila-Nunam is predicted to pass over the RECON network, with a 1-sigma uncertainty of just over 2,000 km. If the shadow does pass over RECON, we will definitely detect it even if not all telescope sites are able to observe the event occurring roughly 24 hours into the New Year. We strongly encourage any and all teams that are up for this event to give it a go, especially if weather forecasts look good. However, we didn’t want to push the network too hard after our Thanksgiving campaign event, so this will be an optional event. You will be able to sign up for this optional RECON event starting next week.
Equally exciting is a unique multi-chord opportunity involving Main Belt Asteroid (362) Havnia on Friday evening, January 6, around 10:45PM PST / 11:45PM MST. As shown on the IOTA prediction map to the left, the slow-moving shadow will travel from south to north. Depending upon how far west or east the shadow lands, all RECON sites in Arizona, California, Nevada, and possibly Oregon can help contribute to this multi-chord observation opportunity. Because the event will not involve telescope sites in Washington, we are announcing this as an optional regional campaign. Many IOTA members are planning to observe, and you are strongly encouraged to contribute this research effort and gain more practice time. You can sign up for this event using OccultWatcher, and a RECON sign-up form will also be available next week.
Cloud cover will likely pose challenges for many of our telescope sites during tonight’s event on Sunday morning, December 11 around 08:55 UT. Teams south of Reno and along the Colorado River and around have the best shot at recording this event. To see sky predictions for individual RECON sites, you can visit our Sky Conditions Page.
Despite weather conditions, our telescope teams will keep an eye on their local skies and do their best tonight. Following the campaign event, we ask all teams to complete a RECON Campaign Observation Report Form. This link will be active for one week following the event.
We wanted to provide a quick update on how things went last week during our Thanksgiving RECON campaign and also provide a heads up on our final event of 2016.
With the exception of Tulelake, California, weather got in the way of observing for all telescope sites from Oroville, Washington down to Carson City, Nevada. Unfortunately, clouds did not part in Central Oregon until after the event. However, clear skies prevailed for our 20 sites from Yerington, Nevada south to Yuma, Arizona. Based upon reports, 15 of these sites successfully acquired the target field and recorded the event, while 5 sites encountered technical issues, primarily involving power and alignment issues. For the next few days, you can view reports from all RECON teams on our Event Reporting Status Page.
Teams that acquired data are currently uploading video data to Southwest Research Institute in Boulder for further analysis this month.
Our final campaign of 2016 will be Saturday night/Sunday morning, December 10-11. The centerline prediction for Centaur 14UT114 passes over Maupin, Oregon.
With a 1,200-km uncertainty, over 50 RECON telescope sites from Oroville, Washington to Blythe, California are in the 1-sigma shadow zone. All teams are crossing their fingers for clear weather for this occultation opportunity, which currently has a 37% probability of detection by the network. All RECON teams are asked to submit the RECON Campaign Signup Form by this weekend. Submitted reports can be viewed on our Signup Status Page.
Over 50 RECON teams are prepared to pursue an exciting observation campaign tonight, which occurs on Wednesday morning just before 4AM PST / 5AM MST. The forecast map shown below predicts great sky conditions for all RECON teams south of Portola, California, and a promising belt of partly clear conditions throughout Central Oregon from Tulelake up to The Dalles.
To see sky predictions for individual RECON sites, you can visit our Sky Conditions Page.
Good luck to all of our teams as they do their best to record the star field for this high probability campaign event! The 1-sigma uncertainty for the shadow prediction indicates that telescopes sites from Madras, Oregon all the way to Idyllwild, California all have have high odds of recording Centaur 08FC76 as it occults our target star.
Rain, snow, or clear skies . . . we ask all RECON teams to complete a RECON Campaign Observation Report Form. This link will be active for one week following the event.
RECON is gearing up for an event during Thanksgiving Week involving Centaur 08FC76 on Wednesday morning, November 23. The prediction for this event places the centerline directly through the middle of our network, with over 40 RECON sites within the 1-sigma shadow zone.
What could be better than the above event, which has a 67% probability of resulting in publishable measurement of this outer Solar System object? A second event with equally good probability for success! On Saturday night, December 10 (December 11 UT), RECON will be pursuing our third campaign event this autumn involving Centaur 14UT114, with a shadow path passing over Central Oregon. For this December event, EVERY RECON SITE will is within the 1-sigma uncertainty zone, resulting in an 80% probability for success!
RECON is very well positioned to obtain results for two scientific papers from the above events. All observers participating in any of the above events will have the opportunity to also participate as a co-author.
Here’s to clear skies across the Western US on the morning of November 23 and the evening of December 10!
Just a quick reminder that all of our RECON teams outside of Arizona will be going off Daylight Savings this Sunday morning, November 6, at 2AM local time. In addition to giving participants an extra hour of sleep, turning clocks back will place the majority of our teams 8 hours behind Universal Time (UT) from now through March.
RECON teams should take care in converting UT times to local times:
All times listed on the Event Detail Page for 08FC76 are provided in UT and need to be adjusted for the correct time zone for each site. The event will be centered around 11:55 UT on November 23, 2016. Using the offsets above, this converts to:
All RECON Teams are reminded to complete the RECON Campaign Signup Form as soon as possible so that we can ensure telescope coverage for this Thanksgiving campaign!