30 June 2017 at 9:28 pm #573785Neil MorrisonParticipant
On trimming my ever rampant southern boundary Hedge yesterday in the hope of glimpsing Saturn for a few fleeting moments it bought to mind the events of the evening of the 3rd of July 1989 attempting to time the occultation of 28 Sgr by Titan. My Log book contains the timings made as I jammed myself behind my C8 hard up against my northern boundary..
The occultation started at 22h 39m 31s and finished at 22h 44m 46s according to my records. One of our other society members of Crawley A.S using only 7 x 50 Binoculars made the Start at 22h 39m 32s and finish at 22h 44m 32s
With the end of the Cassini Mission looming it is not unreasonable to reflect upon the small contribution that members of the BAA made to the targeting of the Space Craft in refining the position of Titan and the landing of the Huygens probe successfully.
How much easier it would have been to make timings of the event today with the advent of the fast frame CCD Cameras that we now have at our disposal and the associated electronics.
Let us celebrate the 28th Anniversary of the event and when the opportunity arises again work in conjunction with our professional collogues to further Astronomy.30 June 2017 at 10:54 pm #578325Lars LindhardParticipant
I saw this occultation from my home in Denmark with a friend, and we had to move the telescope around in the garden to find at spot where we could see Saturn. The planet was very low and just over the roof of the next bulding which emitted a lot of heat and made turbulence.
We timed the occultation with my wrist watch and it began about 0h 40m and ended 0h 45m on the 4th of July Danish summer time. (GMT +2)
We did not report it to anyone, but we had a great time.30 June 2017 at 11:36 pm #578326Nick JamesParticipant
Wow, is it really 28 years ago! Yes, I remember the Titan/28 Sgr occultation very well, particularly the astonishing central brightening when light from the star was refracted around the limb of Titan by its atmosphere. I didn’t have any sophisticated equipment then and the attached photo was taken with a camera mounted on the back of a small refractor.
Cassini is a mission very close to my heart. I was there for the launch and will be raising a glass when it dives into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15.4 July 2017 at 1:39 pm #578328Richard SargentParticipant
I was also lucky enough to observe the Titan/28 Sgr occultation, including the remarkable central re-brightening referred to above. As Saturn was low down I didn’t think I would be able to see the event from my suburban garden with surrounding houses and trees. So I needed altitude. Did I lug my telescope up a nearby mountain? No I took it to the upstairs front bedroom! See attached picture.
I observed with a 10 inch Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount, and made an audio recording to later time the event details. I recorded the occultation start at 22h 39m 44s and the finish at 22h 44m 59s and sent the results to Andy Hollis who was collating observations for the BAA. I still have his reply letter which noted observations received from about 70 observers.
The second picture attached shows Saturn above the rooftops (brightest object near frame centre). To the right of Saturn I have highlighted 28 Sgr with a couple of lines but it is faint on the picture. After observing the event I didn’t have far to go to get to bed! Yes I’ll be following the final news of the end of Cassini. Would be nice to view Saturn at the time of Cassini’s demise but I think it happens during daylight for us.
Thanks for the reminder Neil of what was a very interesting event.
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