Occultations of Faint Stars by Neptune and its Rings: 1992-1999
- Douglas J. Mink
- Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics,
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
- Sara Maene, Richard G. French
- Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181
- Arnold R. Klemola
- UCO/Lick Observatory, Board of Studies in Astronomy and Astrophysics
- University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064
There are still many uncertainties concerning the nature of Neptune's
rings, and observations of additional occultations of stars by those
rings may resolve some of them. As Neptune moves away from the galactic
plane during the 1990's, there are fewer stars in its path.
The search undertaken by
Klemola and Mink (1991) has been
extended to the limit of their plates, a V magnitude of approximately 15.5,
to yield more possible occultations. Circumstances for the close approaches
of Neptune to 68 stars during the period from 1992 through 1999 are presented.
Seventeen possible occultations of these stars by Neptune's ring arcs were
found out of 40 occultations by the ring plane. Photometry of selected
candidates has shown that some have a K magnitude brighter than 11.
Presented at the Neptune/Triton Conference in Tucson, Arizona, January, 1992
Published in 1992 in Icarus, Volume 99, pages 430-435