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Meliboea Shadow Captured Over Armagh

Spot the missing star. The occultation lasted from approximately 01:01:44 to 01:01:57 UT. The three images (left to right) show the star at 01:01:42, shortly before the occultation; the appearance of the field at 01:01:50, during the occultation; and the star's reappearance at 01:01:58, immediately after the occultation.

Armagh Observatory reports that its asteroidal-occultation group observed the passage of the shadow of the minor planet (137) Meliboea over Armagh last month. Apostolos Christou, David Asher and summer student Victoria Hudson from the University of Leicester, successfully observed the occultation of the 9th magnitude star TYC 0464-02162-1 by the 145-km asteroid at 01:01 UT on the morning of the 24th of July.

The occultation occurred 12 seconds later than had been predicted, implying an improvement in our knowledge of the asteroid's position by approximately 100 km or, at the asteroid's distance from the Earth, a quite remarkable observational precision of one-tenth of a second of arc.

The star disappeared shortly before two minutes past two in the morning, leaving only the light of the very faint asteroid, and reappeared thirteen seconds later. This is only the fifth observation of an occultation to have been observed from anywhere on the island of Ireland, each of which has been made by the Armagh group, and two of which have been made by the technique of CCD imaging.

Light Curve

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Apostolos Christou at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; aacat signarm.ac.uk

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Last Revised: 2007 August 16th
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