[AZ-Observing] Pluto Observations Sunday March 11

  • From: edwin hubble <hubble_edwin@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: anahinovoa@xxxxxxxxx, azObserving <az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, j.finol@xxxxxxx, jorgeIEEE <jsitke@xxxxxxxx>, plymate@xxxxxxxx, StellarObservatory@xxxxxxxxxxxx, StevePeterson <ccdcat@xxxxxxx>, StevePetersonRaytheon <swpeterson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, taaaforum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, hubble_edwin@xxxxxxxxx, isac_81@xxxxxxxxxxx, rincon-ranch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, teresa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Keith Schlottman <keith@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 15:38:25 -0700 (PDT)

In preparation for next Sunday March 18 star
occultation by Pluto, Steve Peterson and me imaged
Pluto with Steve's 14" Schmidt Cassegrain, operating
at F 5.5 with a focal reducer, and Keith Schlottman's
SBIG st402me camera.

Thank you Keith for your contribution, it is a great
camera !

I have posted one of many images of Pluto and the
target star in the Pluto page at 


This is a 4 sec exposure with clear filter, binned
2x2, 2 arcsec/pixel.
Better images can be obtained with longer exposures,
but we need time resolution.

The I infrared photometric filter was not effective,
because the star is brighter in the infrared but the
camera sensor efficency drops rapidly in that range.

We needed to calibrate the relative brightness of
Pluto and the star with our setup.

This observing effort has been inspired by Claude
Plymate, TAAA member, Engineering Physicist at the
National Solar Observatory.

The occultation will be observed by Don Jennings
group, NASA Goddard
Space Flight Center, with the 1.6 meter McMath Pierce
solar telescope at 2 micron wavelength, and the 20" at
the Kitt Peak Visitor Center. Claude has been setting
up the observation.

The principal investigator, Dr. Don Jennings, is an
investigator with an instrument on the New Horizons
spacecraft currently on its way  to Pluto, after a
Jupiter flyby. Don wants to use this occultation to
help in determining details of Pluto's atmosphere.

I encourage observers to try their skill and luck at
this difficult observation.

   Victor Herrero  

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