Recon Status through May 2013

     Recon hosted a 4 day occultation training session at the Jack Davis Observatory in Carson City April 4-7 2013.  There were about 30 trainees in attendance.  Marc Buie, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, and John Keller, Director of the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education presented and hosted the seminar.

 There are 13 official Recon Occultation Stations spread out at about 50 km intervals between Tonopah and Tulelake.  The local stations are represented by Portola,  Maclean observatory in Reno and the Jack Davis Observatory in Carson City and Yerington.  Local team leaders are Dan Ruby, Jim Bean and Todd Hunt at Maclean, Davis and Yerington respectively.

 All stations are set up with at least 11 telescopes, Mallincam CCD cameras, IOTA gps timers and DVRs. 

 So far we have had one practice run with 211Isolda occulting 2UCAC38779678 on 4-18-13.  Our first official Kuiper Belt Object occultation campaign was Pluto occulting P130504 near Sagittarius on 5-4-13 at 08:28:22 UT.  It was a difficult event with lots of drama.  There was very little time between the star rising above the southern horizon and the occultation with as little as 3 minutes at some stations. The occultation occurred at declination -19:41:24.  Our recordings have been uploaded to Marc Buie at the Southwest Research Institute’s Planetary Science center in Boulder Colorado.  We are waiting for the final report but preliminary information shows that of the 15 stations reporting, 6 recorded the correct star field.

Our next KBO occultation event has not been determined yet.

 Warren Simison

Recon Team Leader, Portola.

Category: Programs Committee