The Alpha Triangulum Occultation by Annapovlova

Jan 5/6, 2012

This was the brightest asteroid event through California in quite a while, although the rank was very very low. The nominal path went through Marin County, but Santa Cruz wasn't a whole lot less likely. The odds were of order 1%. But it would be spectacular if it went through. And a good opportunity to get together with Gene who was very interested in getting a series of dark frame calibrations for generating a mathematical fit to dark frame vs temperature, so that dark frames can be generated for an arbitrary chip temperature. A useful project, and interesting to see if it fits the predicted behavior.

I set the 12" on Alpha Triangulum and told Gene when the event was, so that he could watch the star on the finderscope output to the TV monitor. Meanwhile I was outside on the 10" videorecording. As expected, it was a miss. Same report for Ted Swift up north.

At right, see a time exposure taken during the time I was recording, using the Nikon w/ 18-200mm zoom. With luck, I'd get a missing tick out of the middle, just like my photo during the Pallas occultation in '83. No occultation, and Alpha Tri trails just like every other star, and Jupiter, on the image.