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Occultation of UCAC4-410-143659 by Triton on 5 October 2017


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About this observation
Chris Hooker
Time of observation
05/10/2017 - 23:48
Observing location
Didcot, Oxfordshire
Orion Optics 254 mm F/6.3 Newtonian
ZWO ASI120MM-S camera
Wratten 23A light red filter
0.500 second

A rare opportunity to observe the occultation of a star by Neptune's moon Triton. The observation was made very challenging by the presence of a full Moon around 30 degrees from the planet and an intermittent gusty breeze that shook the telescope at times, and made the images unusable (see third example image above). In the first image, Triton and the target star can be seen (unresolved) just to the left of Neptune. The disappearance and reappearance of the star coincided with episodes of shaking, which made timings of the event, in particular the disappearance, relatively inaccurate. However, selection of images that were not too badly distorted allowed me to make enough measurements of Triton and a comparison star (UCAC4-410-143670) to derive a light curve for the occultation, and a timing of the reappearance of the star to within 3 seconds. 

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