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Stellar Occultation of Minerva and its satellites - prediction of the paths

21 Oct 2009, 00:59 UTC
Stellar Occultation of Minerva and its satellites - prediction of the paths
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I mentioned in my previous post that (93) Minerva will occult several stars in October and November. These observations could be interesting because they will give us the opportunity to estimate directly the size and shape of the primary (hence its density) and, if detected, of the satellites as well.
I am happy to announce that thanks to the collaborative effort from several groups of observers who had telescopes time at Keck observatory led by J. Melbourne, California Institute of California, A. N. Stockton, University of Hawaii, C. D. Fassnacht, University of California at Davis, and T. J. Dupuy, University of Hawaii, and my colleagues, P. Descamps, J. Berthier, and F. Colas, Institut de Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des Ephemerides at the Observatoire de Paris, we managed to determine the orbital parameters of the satellites of (93) Minerva. We can therefore predict their positions at the time of the occultations and determine the path of the secondary occultations.
Two stellar occultations are particularly interesting because they involve a bright star and are located in a relatively densely populated area (maximizing the chance of finding courageous observers). The first one is scheduled tomorrow (!!) on October 21 at 21:40 UT ...

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