Asteroid Occultations in March 2002

Path of asteroid Prokne
Minor Planet Center Data.
The charts in this article will help North American observers locate two stars being occulted by asteroids in March.

On March 18, at 3.0 hours Universal Time, the 174-kilometer-diameter asteroid 194 Prokne will occult the 10.1 magnitude star PPM 160308 (R.A. 14h 04.1m, Dec. 5° 13'). The combined magnitude of the star and asteroid will drop by 2.2 magnitudes during the 14 second occultation. The wide path passes through the Caribbean to Jacksonville, Florida, and on to central Mississippi.

Path of asteroid Zelinda
Click on the chart to see a map of North America that includes the predicted path for the occultation of Zelinda.
Minor Planet Center Data.
On March 27, at 2.4 hours UT, the 132-kilometer-diameter asteroid 654 Zelinda will occult the 10.0 magnitude star TYC 0168 2620 (R.A. 7h 17.2m, Dec. 3° 11'). The combined magnitude of the star and asteroid will drop by 1.9 magnitudes during the 11 second occultation. The path passes from southern Wyoming, and northern Colorado, through Kanas and Missouri, and on to Illinois, Kentuckey, Virginia, and North Carolina.

More Information

If you're interested in timing occultations, be sure to refer to the article "How and Why To Make Occultation Timings" elsewhere on this Web site. Finder charts, detailed maps, observing news, and information on events worldwide are carried in the Occultation Newsletter of the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA). For local data about all events possibly visible from your location, send your longitude and latitude, $1.00, and a large, self-addressed envelope to Jim Hart, 2616 Monte Cresta, Belmont, CA 94002-1214, or obtain the information free by e-mail request.

Please send observation reports to Jan Manek, Stefanik Observatory, Petrin 205, 11846 Praha 1, Czech Republic, or e-mail him. A report form is available from IOTA’s Web site or from Manek by e-mail. If you watch the target star and see no event, your report is still important.