Reports from South America, Southern Africa and Europe

 

Bruno Sicardy has collected some observation reports from South America, Southern Africa and Europe and presents two solutions why the occultation was not detected:

 

Reports:

 

– Namibia:

* Marcus Hauser, HESS:

   clouded out

* Friedhelm Hund and Ansgar Gaedke, IAS/Hakos:

   clouded out

 

– Brazil:

* Marcelo Assafin and Felipe Braga Ribas, Pico dos Dias:

   clear weather, star acquired with **high SNR**, no event seen

* Cristovao Jacques, Eduardo Pimentel and Breno Loureiro, Belo   Horizonte:

   varying transparency due to clouds, a light curve is obtained, still   awaiting  processing

 

– Uruguay:

* Raul Salvo, Marcelo Traverso, Cristian Mateu, Andrea Sanchez and Gonzalo Tancredi, Los Molinos:

   very low SNR signal obtained, due to elevation of only ~10 deg

* Santiago Roland, Alberto Ceretta and Bernardo Pombo, Aigua:

   no observation possible due to very low elevation

* Eduardo Alvarez and Sebastian Bruzzone, Salto:

   no observation due to very low elevation

 

Other observations were attempted from locations well outside the predicted shadow path:

 

– UK:

* Andrew Elliott’s place.

   Star easily recorded, till ice prevented any observation

 

– Germany:

* Wolfgang Beisker, Munich:

    clouded out

 

– France:

* Bernard Christophe, St-Sulpice:

   star observed, no event detected

* Jean Lecacheux, Meudon:

   clouded out

* Francois Colas, Pic du Midi:

   clouded out

 

– Spain:

* Jose Luis Ortiz reports that no observations could be made from Calar Alto

 

 

Solutions:

 

 Since he event was not detected at Pico dos Dias, Brazil, in spite of high SNR we have two solutions:

 

(1) the shadow went south of Pico dos Dias, in which case the only stations that migth have observed an event would be the ones in Uruguay.

Now, only a very low SNR observation was made at Los Molinos. Still, is it possible to co-add several images to extract something from the Los Molinos experiment?

 

(2) the shadow went north of Pico dos Dias, as predicted, btw, by the MIT group:

http://occult.mit.edu/research/occultations/kbo/Varuna/Varuna.20081207/index.html

 

 In this case, the only stations where a positive event could have been seen are Belo Horizonte (where data **have** been acquired, but still require processing), Brasilia (any report?), Namibia (clouded out anyway), and Fortaleza (any report?). Any other stations in Brazil?

 

 Thanks a lot for the huge efforts put in this experiment, both for predictions and observations. Everything humanly possible was made to detect this event, that was probably the closest we went to detect for the 1st time a TNO occultation. It was also a good way to prove our capability to react before a event, and detect a faint star with modest instruments.

 

So, I hope that after this near miss, you are willing to pursue this kind of experiments to explore the solar system beyond Neptune…

 

Cheers,

 

Bruno

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