Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jan 31: Our first good attempt

The first good attempt to observe a mutual event will come on Jan 31st UT (the night of Friday, Jan 30th), as Namaka goes into the shadow of Haumea. The ingress is predicted for 11:02 UT = 3:02 AM PST Thursday morning; the egress follows almost one hour later at 11:52 UT = 3:52 PM. The uncertainty in the timing, however, could be as much as 3 or 4 hours!

This event is particularly important, because if we can get just one good clear detection, we will greatly decrease the uncertainty in the times of all future events.

To my knowledge, the following telescopes/observers are attempting observations:

Palomar 5m (Caltech group)
Apache Point 3.5m (Nancy Chanover & Chas Miller)
Magdelena Ridge 2.4m (?)

University of Hawaii 2.2m (Emily Schaller)

We are in good shape to get somebody to see this event unless the entire western US is clouded out. Which can definitely happen this time of the year. We should have eyes on the event if it occurs anywhere from about 4 hours early until about 8 hours late.

Our difficulty for fast analysis of this event will be that no one will be able to observe more than about 5 hours. Haumea rotates every 4 hours. Ideally, one would observe for 8 hours and see Haumea with and without an event. With luck, though, we will be able to stitch together enough observations to get this figured out very quickly. We would like to know in time for the Next event, occuring on Feb 18th, over India and China.


  1. The 1.8 m VATT on Mt Graham is also planning observations.

  2. I will be observing this event (and suitable subsequent events) with the 2m Faulkes Telescope North on Maui

  3. Sky's clear in Victoria BC! We have the Plaskett 1.8m on Haumea right now.


    ~Alex Parker