Pandora Occultation - Feb 18, 2007

Observer: Richard Nolthenius (831) 479-6506, rinolthe at

Asteroid, Star: (55) Pandora, TYC 1421-00289-1

Telescope: 10" Meade LX200 f/10, Alt-Az, 22mm Nagler

Location: Pismo Beach Campground, Lat=35 06.57'N, W Long=120 37.63 W (NAD83/WGS84), elev 5ft.

Method: Voice/WWV/tape recorder

Sky: clear, decent seeing, star+asteroid merge visibility: about 2 magnitude above mag limit. Solid.

Timings: Feb 18, 2007 UT

begin: 06:11:55

D: 06:12:58.07+-0.10 sec, RT=0.35sec

R: 06:13:02.23+-0.15sec, RT=0.40sec

end: 06:14:20

Comments: Clear skies, powered up scope... and it wouldn't boot. Burned out mainboard? Anyway, had to manually find the star and manually keep it in view using the slo-mo controls. But, the seeing was excellent - steady, sharp views of Saturn earlier on. Star was dead rock steady and even the 12th mag asteroid was clearly visible before the event. Solid timings as it happened just when expected and at maximum anticipation. The "D" was sharp, but the "R" started out about 1-1.5 magnitudes too dim, and then gradually brightened over the next half second. The shout "R" was the first hint of reappearance.

Here's the Excel report, and the sky plane plot of all observations.