Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mutual event movies

The main web page now contains links to synthetic movies and predicted light curves of each of the events. The uncertainties here are quite large in time, depth, and duration of event. One of the difficulties is that the transits/occultations are occurring close to the limb of Haumea, so small changes in impact parameter make huge differences. The nice thing about this sensitivity is that a few good detections should strongly constrain the geometry.

While one should not yet take these models too seriously, they are a good indicator of the type of modeling that will be needed to interpret these observations.


  1. Hi Mike,
    Is the Haumea's rotation axis in the movies known or just the most conservative position for the portion of the surface Haumea will cover?
    Amanda Z.

  2. Amanda --
    We don't know the pole, but for the movies (and the predictions) we have assumed that the rotational pole is the same as the orbital pole of the outer satellite (Hi'iaka, which you don't see in the movies). The two satellites are mutually inclinded by ~10 degrees, so Namaka is tilted a bit from Haumea's rotation pole.

    But, again, all of this is just an assumption until we detect something!