Paper on the Triton stellar occultation of 2017 October 5

Forums Neptune Triton’s diameter from occultation timings Paper on the Triton stellar occultation of 2017 October 5

Alex Pratt

Hi Michael,

I’m sure the S/N of the light curves would have been good enough to give an astrometric position and shape profile of an asteroid / TNO, but in this paper they’re studying Triton’s atmosphere, so their modelling has more demanding criteria. They rejected data from a 50cm scope because of light contamination from Neptune.

Bruno once explained – In the case of modelling the atmospheres of solar system bodies, lower quality data provides astrometry, defining the position and shape of the body (the chords across Triton), and higher quality data are used to model its atmospheric density, temperature gradient, winds, etc.

For a future campaign we need an image scale providing good separation between planet and moon, a S/N of ~10 (although magnitude of target and duration of occultation limits our choices), and a 12-bit sensor (or better) to capture more detail in the light curve.

It’s quite a challenge to get good data. The Lucky Star team were delighted to have 90 light curves from this pro-am campaign.