LVAAS - THE LEHIGH VALLEY AMATEUR ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: Promoting, Facilitating and Teaching Astronomy Since 1957
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Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:03 pm EST

General Meeting Notice

 LVAAS General Meeting

SCROLL DOWN for info on transit of Mercury, Nov. 11

Sunday, November 10 at 7 p.m.

South Mountain HQ -- 620 B East Rock Road, Allentown, PA 18103

Steve Conard

"Occultation Timing with the IOTA"

Measuring the size and shape of small solar system bodies using occultation timing has received increased attention recently due to the outstanding success of the pro-am team that measured 2014MU69 “Ultima Thule” prior to the New Horizons encounter. Future NASA and JAXA missions, such as Lucy and DESTINY+, are currently using the technique to determine the properties of their future encounter objects. The recent increased success of this technique can be directly attributed to the ESA Gaia astrometry mission.

These measurements can easily be made by moderately skilled amateurs, who occasionally make exciting discoveries and regularly are credited in scientific papers. The International Occultation Timing Association, IOTA, is the leading amateur group for coordination of these observations. Steve Conard, a long-time IOTA member, will describe the techniques used to make these measurements and show some of the equipment used. He will also show results of past measurements.

  

 

Steve Conard has been an amateur astronomer since 1971. His teenage enthusiasm for telescope building led to a 35+ year career building space optical instrumentation for the Johns Hopkins University. Steve currently resides in central Maryland, and serves as the director of the Roelke Observatory at Bear Branch Nature Center in Westminster, Maryland.

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