SETI bioastro: FW: AstroAlert: Spectacular Pleiades passage, probably grazes near you, July 20 am

From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4_at_msn.com)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 08:09:52 PDT

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    >From: David Dunham <dunham_at_starpower.net>
    >To: occultation_at_SkyandTelescope.com
    >Subject: AstroAlert: Spectacular Pleiades passage, probably grazes near
    >you, July 20 am
    >Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 22:15:45 -0400
    >
    >==================================================================
    >This Is SKY & TELESCOPE's AstroAlert for Occultations
    >==================================================================
    >
    >Spectacular Pleiades Passage by crescent Moon Thurs. am, July 20,
    >eastern N.America, Caribbean
    >
    >The Alcyone graze is one of the best of 2006 in the USA, with the
    >path passing from Texas to Michigan and Ontario; expedition planned
    >to observe Alcyone & SAO 76249 grazes near Gaines, Michigan, s.w. of
    >Flint, in the zone where the 2 graze paths overlap; there are many
    >other grazes, probably one near you (especially, grazes of Atlas in
    >British Columbia n.w. of Vancouver; of Pleione near Ogden, UT; of
    >Merope n. of Omaha and near Minneapolis; and of 6th-mag. 24 Tauri
    >near or over Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, & Akron) - NEW Web
    >sites are given for detailed path plots via google maps.
    >
    >Also, TONIGHT there will be an occultation of 4.6-mag. epsilon
    >Piscium (ZC 146) by the 56% sunlit waning Moon. The northern-limit
    >graze path crosses eastern S. Dakota and central Minnesota (passing
    >very close or over parts of Duluth, but more likely over Superior,
    >Wisc.) at about 5:45 UT (12:45 am CDT). You can see it on the map
    >on p. 71 of the Jan. issue of Sky and Telescope; a total occultation
    >reappearance on the dark side will be visible from most of eastern
    >North America, with predictions given in the RASC Observer's
    >Handbook, and for some more North American cities on IOTA's Web site
    >at http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota .
    >
    >At the end I give some preliminary information about two good
    >asteroid occultations next week is also given, one visible from
    >eastern Virginia and the other from a path extending from Wyoming to
    >Chicago, s. Mich., & s. Quebec.
    >______________________________
    >
    > General information about the occultations of bright Pleiades
    >stars Thursday morning, July 20, can be found on pages 68-69 of this
    >month's Sky and Telescope and on IOTA's main Web site at
    >http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/2006plnam/pleiadna.htm . The
    >latter gives predictions of total occultations of the brightest
    >Pleiades stars for hundreds of North American cities.
    >
    >_______
    >
    > My map on page 71 of the January issue of Sky and Telescope
    >shows the paths of the four brightest Pleiades stars crossing North
    >American on July 20, including the northern limit for the
    >spectacular graze of 2.9-mag. Alcyone from central Texas to Quebec.
    >Many more paths, of stars down to mag. 7.5, are in the RASC
    >Observer's Handbook for 2006. But these are small-scale maps; more
    >detailed maps are needed to get into the graze zones, which are only
    >about 2 km wide.
    >
    > Interactive Web-based google interactive maps for several
    >Pleiades grazes are on two Web sites; you can use them to zoom in on
    >the paths to see exactly where they cross minor local roads, and
    >the paths can even be superimposed on satellite or aerial
    >photography. Unfortunately, Charlie Ridgway's site, mentioned in
    >the July issue of Sky and Telescope, can no longer be updated and
    >has no information about the July 20th Pleiades grazes. Most of the
    >graze paths can be found on Derek Breit's Web site at
    >http://www.poyntsource.com/BREIT_IDEAS/google/index.htm
    >but some in the northeastern USA can be found instead on Brad
    >Timerson's Web site at
    >http://www.fingerlakessythetics.com/occultations/GrazeMaps.html .
    >Timerson's site includes the interactive path maps for the grazes of
    >SAO 76188, 76191, and 76236; others are on Derek's site. If the
    >path you need is not on these sites, Derek Breit can add one if you
    >send him a request at breit_ideas_at_hotmail.com .
    >
    > If you want to try one of the Pleiades grazes in your area, let
    >us know so we might help you set it up, and possibly find some more
    >observers who might help you. I'll distribute other expedition
    >plans as they become available.
    >
    > There are other very good grazes, but the best during the
    >passage will be the one of the brightest Pleiad, 2.90mag. Alcyone,
    >whose path starts in central Texas, then crosses s.e. Okla., n.w.
    >Ark., s.e. Missouri (not far s. of St. Louis), s. Ill., Ind. (near
    >Lafayette & Howe), s.e. Mich. (over Flint), and Ont. (Bruce Peninsula
    >and on northeast from there). Bob Sandy, bobgraze_at_planetkc.com,
    >will probably try to observe it from Illinois or Indiana, while Hal
    >Povenmire and I plan to try to observe it from sites just west of
    >Gaines, Michigan, about 15 miles s.w. of Flint and about 50 miles
    >n.w. of Detroit. We selected this location because from locations
    >w. of Byron to the western and northern suburbs of Flint, the 2-km-
    >wide zone of visibility of the Alcyone grazing occultation overlaps
    >by over 80% the zone of visibility of another graze, of 7.5-mag. SAO
    >76249 that will occur an hour and 8 minutes after the Alcyone graze.
    >You can see this intersection zone on maps that Derek Breit has
    >posted at http://www.poyntsource.com/BREIT_IDEAS/Gaines.htm . Our
    >expedition will meet at 2 am EDT July 20 at the intersection of Ray
    >Rd. and S. County Line Rd., several tenths of a mile west of
    >downtown Gaines. On the DeLorme Atlas for Michigan, S. County Line
    >Rd. is labelled Sheridan Ave.; it marks the boundary between Genesee
    >County to the east and Shawassee County to the west. I have
    >annotated (to mark the meeting place) a copy of the detailed map of
    >the graze zones on Breit's Web site and will post that on my Web
    >site at http://iota.jhuapl.edu/exped.htm tomorrow (Mon.) afternoon.
    >The observation sites will extend westward from the meeting place
    >for one mile along Miller Rd. (the name of Ray Rd. in Shawassee
    >County) and for about 0.6 mile south from the meeting place along S.
    >County Line Rd. (or Sheridan Ave.). There are many other roads that
    >could be used in the large overlap graze zone from s.w. of Gaines to
    >Flint, but the aerial photography on the local live web site shows
    >many houses along those roads, the area is more suburban than rural;
    >the selected roads have fewer houses than the others (I hope to
    >arrive early enough to alert the residents of some of them, at least
    >the ones closest to the road that might detect us). Besides the
    >grazes, there are, of course, many total occultations that those who
    >get set up in time can observe; a few of them are listed below, as
    >computed for the observation sites just described (all
    >reappearances, R, are on the dark side of the 23% sunlit Moon):
    >
    >EDT Event
    >
    >2:33 1st R, 7.9-mag. SAO 76103, alt. 6 deg.
    >3:04 D of 4.1-mag. Merope on bright side, alt. 11 deg.
    >3:49-53 Alcyone graze, cusp angle 13N, alt. 19 deg.
    >4:56:02 R of 3.6-mag. Atlas
    >4:56:53 R of 5.1-mag. Pleione
    >4:57-61 SAO 76249 graze, cusp angle 14N, alt. 32 deg., Sun -13 deg.
    >4:59:19 R of 8.0-mag. SAO 76237, cusp angle 48N (this is near the
    > center of the SAO 76249 graze period so ignore it if you are
    > observing visually; video observers might want to try to get
    > their field of view positioned to image both events)
    >5:26 R of 7.0-mag. ZC 570, Sun alt. -8 deg. -last July 20th event
    >
    >There are many other events that will be in a text file that I will
    >post on my Web site given above tomorrow afternoon. We expect to
    >keep one station set up at or very near the meeting place, so
    >depending on what you want to observe from the list above and your
    >setup time, you can arrive when you want. We don't know how cell
    >phone coverage will work in that area; you can try mine at 301-526-
    >5590; Hal Povenmire's at 321-794-0807, or Wayne Warren's at 301-518-
    >5754.
    >
    > Mobile observers anywhere along the path across Michigan, and
    >with a little more difficulty in Indiana and possibly Ontario or
    >even e. Illinois, might also be able to observe both the Alcyone and
    >SAO 76249 graze, if they can move their equipment between the two
    >events in the 64 min. between the end of the Alcyone observing
    >period and the start of the SAO 76249 one. We decided to use the
    >major overlap zone in the area of Michigan described above since I
    >want to set up some unattended stations that I wouldn't have time to
    >move in other areas (this way, I can get both grazes with them), and
    >others don't want to miss some total occultations that will occur
    >during the time between the two grazes.
    >
    > The Accuweather forecast for Flint, MI for the time of the
    >graze calls for about 50% clouds, which in my view is that they
    >don't know what will happen, just can't predict with any reliability
    >yet. I will be leaving home in Maryland, and possibly last chance
    >for e-mail contact, at about 10 am EDT Wed. July 19; those of us
    >from the Maryland - DC area will be carpooling to the graze (we'll
    >probably go in just my minivan, but if there are more than 3 of us,
    >we'll use two vehicles). If the Astro Meteo (Clear Sky Clock)
    >forecast is good for the Flint, MI area, we'll procede with our
    >plans to go to Gaines; we hope to get a motel room with wifi so that
    >we might have e-mail & Web (for weather information) access during
    >the evening before the passage. Of course, if the weather forecast
    >is not good for Michigan, we'll consider going instead to locations
    >in Indiana or even farther s.w. along the Alcyone path, or possibly
    >even to Ontario. If the weather forecast is poor for the Alcyone
    >path from Illinois to Ontario, we'll try one of the other grazes
    >instead in the Mid-Atlantic area from the list copied below, if the
    >forecast is reasonably good there.
    >
    > Possible Pleiades Grazing Occultations
    >
    >DATE Day EDT Star Mag % alt CA Location
    >
    >Jul 20 Thu B 3:01 SAO 76158 7.9 24- 12 13N *Stedman,Greenville,Barco,NC
    >Jul 20 Thu X 3:42 SAO 76188 8.3 23- 20 13N *Warnbg,Indiana,PA;Syracs,NY
    >Jul 20 Thu B 3:42 24 Tauri 6.3 23- 17 13N *Loisv,KY;nCinci,Col,Akron,OH
    >Jul 20 Thu X 3:44 SAO 76191 8.5 23- 21 13N *near Somerset, PA &Utica,NY
    >Jul 20 Thu B 3:51 Alcyone 2.9 23- 19 13N Gaines,MI orHowe,Lafayette,IN
    >Jul 20 Thu B 4:37 SAO 76234 7.5 23- 33 16N *Coinjock, NC
    >Jul 20 Thu B 4:42 ZC 562 6.6 23- 34 16N Easton,MD;Richmond,VA;Sun-13
    >Jul 20 Thu B 4:59 SAO 76249 7.5 23- 32 15N Gaines, MI; Sun -13
    >Jul 20 Thu B 5:16 SAO 76259 7.5 23- 40 16N Waldorf&Annapolis,MD;Sun-8
    >
    >This is almost the same list I distributed to Mid-Atlantic observers
    >in late May, but after the day I've added B or X to indicate that
    >the detailed graze path can be viewed with google maps on either
    >Derek Breit's Web site given above (B), or on both his and Brad
    >Timerson's web sites (X).
    >
    >in other areas on July 20 (see Breit's Web site for path maps):
    >
    >Local time Star Mag Location
    >
    >2:22-2:30 CDT Merope 4.1 e.Nebr.,n.w.Iowa,Minneapolis,n.w.Wisc.
    >2:32 MDT-3:42CDT Pleione 5.0 n.Utah,n.w.Wyo.,s.e.Mont.,nwND,s.w.Man.
    >1:45 PDT Atlas 3.6 Brit. Columbia nw of Vancouver&Victoria
    >
    >Notes for the Mid-Atlantic grazes:
    >
    >Some grazes will not be attempted if expeditions are undertaken for
    >asteroidal occultations within 36 hours of the graze. * in the
    >Notes column means that no DC-area expedition is planned.
    >
    >July 20: These grazes will occur during a spectacular passage of the
    >Moon across the Pleiades cluster that will occur Thursday morning, July
    >20, almost as good as the one on April 1/2, but the Moon will be waning,
    >not waxing, on July 20. And we don't have a bright graze passing near
    >DC, or anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic States, like we had with Maia early
    >in April. Nevertheless, the grazes below can be observed with small
    >telescopes and should be of interest to observers who don't mind losing
    >some sleep on a weekday morning.
    >
    >24 Tauri = ZC 549. Besides passing over Louisville, KY and diagonally
    >across populous parts of Ohio (n. Cincinnati, near Columbus, near
    >Akron), the path also passes over St. Catherines, Ont., a very good
    >graze for those who can't travel a little farther n.w. to the
    >spectacular Alcyone graze path (see next).
    >
    >Alcyone (eta Tauri = ZC 552): At mag. 2.9, this will be the most
    >spectacular Pleiades graze in the USA this year. It is quite distant
    >from DC, but if the weather forecast is favorable for Indiana, I'll
    >consider an expedition for it from the DC area; anyone interested in
    >joining such an effort please let me know.
    >
    >ZC 562: At mag. 6.6, this is the best graze in the region, a
    >moderately bright star easy to see with small telescopes (but not
    >binoculars). The path passes over part of Charlotte, NC, and near
    >Greensboro. In Virginia, it passes over the southern and eastern
    >suburbs of Richmond. It crosses the Delmarva Peninsula a few miles
    >s.e. of Easton, MD (the closest point for an expedition from the DC
    >area) and near Milford, DE. It then crosses southern New Jersey and
    >Long Island, where twilight becomes noticeable, Sun alt. -9 deg.
    >The path crosses New England from the New Haven, CT area to the coast
    >of Maine, passing over Concord and Carlisle, n.w. of Boston, Mass.
    >By the time the path reaches Maine, the twilight will be quite bright
    >and will make observation a little difficult.
    >
    >SAO 76259: At mag. 7.5, this is a good graze, too, still visible with
    >small telescopes and signicantly closer to DC- and Baltimore-area
    >observers than the ZC 562 graze. The path passes near Salisbury, NC
    >and then across central Virginia, crossing I-95 near Thornburg south
    >of Fredericksburg. It passes over the Southern Maryland Astronomical
    >Society's observatory in Nanjemoy, then extends northeastward to
    >Waldorf and Annapolis; sites in the semi-rural country between those
    >cities will probably be the closest access to a good graze from the DC
    >region during this passage. The path also passes over n.e. Maryland
    >and the n.w. suburbs of Philadelphia, where the twilight is becoming
    >rather bright. Nevertheless, observation might be possible in
    >northern New Jersey, where the path passes n.w. of Princeton and over
    >the Sperry Observatory in Cranford.
    >_____________________________________________________________________
    >
    >Mid-Atlantic Asteroidal Occultations next week & during August 2006
    > dur. Ap.
    >Date Day EDT Star Mag Asteroid dmag s in. Location
    >
    >Jul 24 Mon 21:25 TYC02670292 9.7 Huenna 5.9 3 4 e. Virginia
    >Jul 25 Tue 22:54 SAO 163453 8.4 Carmen 4.8 5 2 n&wNY,nOhio
    >Aug 2 Wed 5:21 2UC42184775 11.9 Alexandra 1.4 7 8 se N.Car.
    >Aug 5 Sat 20:35 TYC68042216 12.0 Fama 3.4 10 8 eVA,DE,NJ
    >Aug 11 Fri 1:00 2UC19282707 11.7 Zelia 1.1 7 8 NY,NewEng.
    >Aug 15 Tue 0:56 2UC21627363 11.0 Bondia 3.5 13 8 Pennsylvnia
    >Aug 21 Mon 4:42 TYC13101942 10.1 Vibilia 2.7 5 4 nOhio,w&nNY
    >Aug 25 Fri 5:58 2UC37477545 11.8 Charybdis 2.1 26 8 wSC,wNC,WV
    >
    >Notes:
    >
    >Updated paths, and often detailed finder charts, can be found at
    >Steve Preston's Web site at http://www.asteroidoccultation.com .
    >Very detailed maps for these events can often be found now on Derek
    >Breit's interactive Web page at
    >http://www.poyntsource.com/BREIT_IDEAS/google/index.htm (he has ones
    >now for the Huenna and Carmen events). Derek also has comprehensive
    >station lists for these events at
    >http://www.poyntsource.com/BREIT_IDEAS/index.htm . We'll be using
    >his station lists to plan coverage for the good Huenna and Carmen
    >events after I return from the Pleiades graze trip. Note that the
    >Carmen occultation path passes over southern Michigan (same region
    >as the Alcyone graze), a good event with a reasonably bright star.
    >That path also extends over Wyoming, Nebraska (Omaha near the n.
    >limit), s. Iowa, n. Illinois (Chicago n. of s. limit, Milwaukee n.
    >of n. limit but could have an event), s. Mich., s. Ont. (Toronto at
    >s. limit), and Quebec (s. limit along St. Lawrence River). Carmen
    >is an unusual M-class (metallic spectrum) asteroid that could have
    >an unusual shape (its light curve amplitude is relatively small, but
    >there was an unusual observation during another Carmen event in
    >Europe last month, so observations of the July 25/26 event are
    >important).
    >_____________________________________________________________________
    >
    >David Dunham, 2006 July 16 evening
    >phones home 301-474-4722; office 240-228-5609; cell 301-526-5590
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