Streaming | Meet an Astronomer | Larry Wasserman | Measuring Asteroid Sizes by Occultations
May 5 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Meet an Astronomer | Larry Wasserman | Measuring Asteroid Sizes by Occultations
The globetrotting adventure to determine the size of the New Horizons Kuiper Belt Object flyby target over a year before the encounter.
Asteroids are not big enough to show up as a measurable disk in astronomical telescopes. So, how do we find out the most basic property of these objects – their sizes? We can use a technique called an occultation, a method that is surprisingly simple. The catch is that occultations, like solar eclipses, can only be observed in a narrow path which crosses the Earth, and the observer must be in the right place at the right time. Getting astronomers and their telescopes to the “right place at the right time” can lead to some very interesting globe-hopping adventures. Lowell astronomer Dr. Larry Wasserman will discuss the method and at least one of these “adventures” which involved 25 telescopes, over 50 individuals, and 3 continents.
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