Gaia mission helps TRITON Occultation observations
On Thursday 5 October an important and rare astronomical event will take place: Triton will be occulting a star (called UCAC4 410-143659 or GaiaDR2 2610107907030969600). This stellar occultation will be visible from Europe across the Atlantic to the USA. A predicted occultation path has been computed using the preliminary Gaia DR2 position and proper motion for this star (see the table below).
The Triton position can, however, still be improved. In order to maximise the scientific output of the occultation event, we have decided to release astrometry for 119 stars in the field surrounding Triton at this moment. The most suitable stars between magnitudes 12 and 17 have been chosen for astrometric calibration purposes. Please note that full validation of the data is not yet done and therefore some caution is required when interpreting the results. Nevertheless, we believe the data will allow improvement of the occultation prediction.
Scientists using these data to improve Triton astrometry are encouraged to make their deduced positions public so that science return can be maximised for all groups observing the event. Please keep us informed of your efforts and results in this topic.
The 119 stars are available for download through the links below:
In order to facilitate earlier conducted Triton campaigns from September, we also provide preliminary astrometry for a second field containing 334 stars available for download through the links below:
When using these data, please follow the acknowledgment and citation guidelines as given here.
Good luck with the observations!
|Table: Excerpt from the preliminary data from Gaia DR2 on the star that will be occulted by Triton as taken from the released 119 stars. (Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC, please follow the acknowledgment guidelines as given here and please also cite the Gaia mission paper)|
[published: 30/09/2017, updated: 02/10/2017, updated: 04/10/2017]