Occultations of SAO Stars and IRAS Point Sources by Planets: 1988-1999

D.J. Mink
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


A search of the SAO Star Catalog and the IRAS Point Source Catalog has been made for close approaches to stars by Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Circustances are presented for 314 close approaches by planets to stars in the SAO catalog and 316 close approaches to point sources in the IRAS Point Source Catalog between 1 January 1988 and 31 December 1999. 71 occultations of IRAS point sources and 42 occultations of SAO stars were found. Few easily observable occultations were discovered as most occulted stars are much fainter than the planet occulting them. In addition to the previously known occultations of SAO 187255 by Saturn on 3 July 1989, SAO 189232 by Uranus on 16 March 1996, and SAO 188797 by Neptune on 29 November 1997, occultations of fifth-magnitude 187445 by Jupiter on 6 March 1996 and sixth-magnitude SAO 164156 by Jupiter on 13 November 1997 were found. SAO 187255 is IRAS 18433-2227, the brightest point source occulted in this period. Other notable IRAS occultations are that of IRAS 06279+2330 by Mars on 24 September 1992 and that of IRAS 18456-231620 on 20 October 1996. As IRAS positions have fairly large errors, forecasts of these events are quite uncertain. These results are presented for the use of observers searching for material in the vicinity of planets, for those who need close bright stars for the improvement of ground-based images of planets, and for those who wish to avoid contamination of their data by invisible, bright IR sources.

Tables of SAO Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune occultations.

Tables of IRAS Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune occultations

Presented as a poster talk at the 1987 meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Pasadena, California, October 1987.

Abstract in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society volume 19, page 1150 (1987).