Finally, a turnkey system is available for recording stellar occultations by asteroids and trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs)! All you need besides the kit is a telescope and a PC. A big thank you to Ted Blank and IOTA for putting this together!
Occultation Recording Kit
- Highly sensitive RunCam Night Eagle Astro Edition video camera
- 0.5x focal reducer & adapters to attach camera to 1¼-inch eyepiece holder
- IOTA VTI (Video Time Inserter) V3
- StarTech SVID2USB23 USB video capture device
- Instruction manual
- Cost: $518
We need more observers in the Midwest (everywhere, really) to give us more chords across the asteroids and TNOs, thus increasing the scientific value of the observations. Right now, we are desperately in need of observers in Iowa (where I lived for many years and will always be home to me), and we have precious few active observers in Wisconsin (yours truly), Minnesota (Steve Messner), and Illinois (Bob Dunford, Aart Olsen, Randy Trank).
If you have an interest in pursuing this interesting and rewarding speciality that gives you the opportunity to make a valuable scientific contribution, feel free to post a comment here and I’ll be happy to help!
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George Viscome has put together an excellent “Asteroid Occultation Observing” guide that will help you get started in this fun, rewarding, and scientifically useful endeavor:
Let me know if you need any help. We need more observers!