The Arago Occultation

Mar 8/9, 2015

This occultation of an 11.4 star high overhead, 3.7s max duration, 3.9 mag drop to 15.3 or so, was predicted to pass down the Central Valley, not Santa Cruz. But, I did buy some items for the Observatory at Home Depot just before the event and wanted to deliver them; an RCA cable to enable mounted-at-the-Orion-ShortTube adjustment of integration times for the PC165DNR videocamera, a new surge protector to enable plugging in the AC power for the 5" video LCD monitor for doing the on-screen menu for the PC165DNR, and some other items. I did videotape w/ GPS and IOTA-VTI, and followed the action too while watching the 1 sec integrations download from the ST2000xcm CCD on the 12" f/6.3 scope. The images downloaded only every 2.5 seconds, but no star disappeared near the target area on the downloaded images, nor faded noticably. The odds of a south shift to Aptos are pretty low - like 0% nominally, so I don't expect the outcome to be anything but a "miss". Ted Swift seems to have had a miss, so the path had to go SOMEwhere... I'll check my tape when I recover it from the observatory later this week.


Here's a 6 second image from the ST2000XCM on the 12" f/6.3. Photo taken 4 minutes after the event.

Steve Preston's narrow field version of the finder chart