What is stellar occultation used for?
One of the most accurate methods of measuring the diameter of an asteroid, short of a space mission, is by observing stellar occultations, which occur when an asteroid passes across in front of a star as seen from the earth. Essentially observers are mapping the asteroid’s “shadow” as cast on the earth by the star.
What is stellar occultation and how was it important for observing Uranus?
By observing such a stellar occultation, astronomers hoped to determine properties of the planet’s atmosphere, and to accurately establish its size from the duration of the star’s disappearance behind it.
What is a stellar occlusion?
A stellar occultation occurs when the light from a star is blocked by an intervening body (such as a planet, moon, ring, or asteroid) from reaching an observer.
What is a occultation in astronomy?
occultation, complete obscuration of the light of an astronomical body, most commonly a star, by another astronomical body, such as a planet or a satellite. Hence, a total solar eclipse is the occultation of the Sun by the Moon.
What is the difference between eclipse and occultation?
Lunar eclipses work the same way in a different order: Moon, Earth and Sun all on a line. In this case the Earth’s shadow hides the Moon from view. An occultation occurs when a celestial object is eclipsed by the Moon or another solar system body.
Who discovered the rings of Uranus?
On March 10, 1977, astronomers on board the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a modified C-141 jet transport, discovered the rings of Uranus.
Is eclipse and occultation same?
When a large object passes in front of a smaller one, it’s an occultation. When the two objects are about the same size, it’s an eclipse.
What does transit mean astronomy?
In astronomy, a transit occurs when one celestial object passes in front of another, like a planet in front of a star. In our own Solar System it is possible to view the transit of Mercury or Venus across the face of the Sun.
How does radio occultation work?
The method works by taking advantage of radio signals broadcast from GNSS satellites already in orbit. As radio signals from the GPS satellites pass through the atmosphere, molecules and electrons bend their paths and slow their progress.
What is stellar occultation in astronomy?
Stellar Occultations. A stellar occultation occurs when the light from a star is blocked by an intervening body (such as a planet, moon, ring, or asteroid) from reaching an observer. The main reason for observing stellar occultations is that they can be used to probe ring systems and atmospheres in the outer solar system…
What can we learn from the occultation technique?
With the occultation technique we can also learn the sizes of smaller bodies that have formed in the outer solar system: Charon, the Centaurs, and KBOs. Occultation studies allow an investigation of the temperature, pressure, and number density profiles in the upper atmospheres of Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn.
What can we learn from Pluto’s occultation?
Stellar occultations offer a sensitive probe of that atmosphere and thus of the temperature of Pluto’s surface nitrogen ice and the seasonal evolution of the surface–atmosphere couple. Carolyn C. Porco, Douglas P. Hamilton, in Encyclopedia of the Solar System (Second Edition), 2007
What can we learn from Uranus occultation?
Occultation studies allow an investigation of the temperature, pressure, and number density profiles in the upper atmospheres of Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Recent Uranus occultation observations indicate that the secular trend in stratospheric temperature has reversed.