Presentations of the

2010 Annual IOTA Meeting

December 3-5, 2010

Boston, MA area

(compiled by Brad Timerson)


Highlights and Minutes

provided by Richard Nugent, Exec. Secretary


Pictures taken during the Meeting


Saturday, 9:00 am (1400 UT)

David Dunham

New IOTA Server? (0.9 mb)



Saturday, 9:05 am (1405 UT)

David Dunham

Presentation to Middle East section of IOTA (2.8 Mb)

Video Introduction  (4 Mb wmv)



Saturday, 9:15 am (1415 UT)

Terrence Redding

Presentation of the 2010 Homer Daboll Award to Hristo Pavlov (1.8 Mb)



Saturday, 9:45 am (1445 UT)

Richard Nugent

Status of IOTA Publications (1.4 Mb)



Saturday, 10:15 am (1515 UT)

Paul Maley, read by David Dunham

Report from the Vice President of IOTA (308 kb)



Saturday, 10:30 am (1530 UT)

David Dunham

2011 Annual IOTA Meeting and the July 19 2011 Occultation by Double Asteroid (90) Antiope (0.5 mb)

Plans for the 2011 IOTA Annual Meeting in Rocklin, CA



Saturday, 11:00 am (1600 UT)

Dave Herald

Occult Status, Analysis of lunar and asteroidal occultations  (140 kb)



Saturday, 1:00 pm (1800 UT)

David Dunham

Best Lunar and Asteroidal Occultations of 2011 (1.2 Mb)



Saturday, 1:30 pm (1830 UT)

Frank Suits

The AllTimer Video System (1.2 Mb)



Saturday, 2:00 pm (1900 UT)

Richard Nugent

A New Video Method to Measure Double Stars (6.2 Mb)

A new video method to measure double stars is presented. Using the same equipment as for an occultation observation,

the observer will video record a double star drift from the far left (west) side of the DVR/camcorder screen

to the far right (east) side (motor drive turned off) along with GPS time insertion. GPS time insertion means that an accurate time will be available for each video frame.

The drift should be fairly close to east-west, but need not be perfect. The offset from a true east-west drift will compensated for in the reduction.

With the freeware program LiMovie, it will record an (x,y) data point for each aperture ring (star) for each video frame as they drift.

For a 60 second video and a 30 frame/sec video recording rate, this means that LiMovie will generate (60 sec) x (30 frame/sec) = 1,800 (x,y) data pairs for analysis. 

Typical scale factors for an optical systems will be in the range of 1 - 2 arc-second/pixel.



Saturday, 2:40 pm (1940 UT)

Russ Genet

The Alt-Az Initiative Development of Portable and Affordable 1-meter class Telescopes (3.5 Mb)

The Alt-Az Initiative is developing portable, low cost, lightweight, meter-class telescopes that can be readily transported

to remote observing sites and quickly set up.  These large aperture telescopes will allow occultations of much fainter

stars by solar system objects to be observed.  For instance, a 40 inch (1 meter) portable telescope can observe

about 2.5 magnitudes fainter, and this translates into about 30 times the number of occultation events--

an especially important factor for rarer occultation events such as TNOs.


Full description (Word document)



Saturday, 3:00 pm (2000 UT)

Bruce Holenstein

The Alt-Az Initiative Efforts to Improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio of Occultation Measures (1.5 Mb

Alt-Az Initiative members are building portable meter-class telescopes to improve the signal-to-noise-ratio of measures of objects under study.

A sufficient SNR for occultation measures makes it possible to understand previously latent features of the occulted object.

 The talk reviews some of the current Alt-Az Initiative science interests and associated detector development projects


Teardown of a 28" "Light Bucket" (6Mb wmv)



Saturday, 3:30 pm (2030 UT)

Steve Conard

Astronomical League Occultation Observing Club Proposal (0.6 Mb)

The Astronomical League (AL) has a large number of observing clubs, which are aimed at having amateur astronomers

become experienced in various types of specialized observations. 

The AL would be interested in seeing IOTA propose an Occultation Club, similar to the AAVSO/AL Variable Star Club. 

This presentation will help determine if IOTA should go forward with such a proposal,

what it should include as the observing requirements, and who should lead the effort.



Saturday, 3:45 pm  (2045 UT)

Bruce Berger

A Brief Introduction to SCORE - the Self-Contained Occultation Recorder (3.4 Mb)

A newcomer to occultation recording, my first fully-equipped solo event was an lunar graze in January at 7:00 am local time.

What I found out was that the mess of cables necessary to interconnect the power-packs, cameras,

GPS and antennas weren’t well behaved when the temps are only 7°F (-14°C).

Being freezing and with winter-thick gloves only added more frustration to the mess.

In the end one cable snapped from the cold and all I could do was toss everything into the rear

 of the car and sort it out back home. My solution is based on an idea posted by Hristo Pavlov –

a means to tame the cables, eliminate interconnections in the field,

and be able to fit everything back into a storage case after using it, even in sub-freezing temperatures.



Saturday, 4:00 pm, (2100 UT)

Dave Gault

Report on Inaugural IOTA-ME Meeting

Atila Poro Video



Saturday, 4:15 pm (2115 UT)

Tony Barry, presented by Dave Gault via EVO

GPS-VTI Development (1.1 Mb)

Developed by Tony Barry (Sydney, Australia) this new Video Time Inserter is based on 3 readily
available modules; a microcontroller, a video titler and a GPS.  In addition, 2 LEDs, a switch, some
wires, a case to house it all and an afternoon with a soldering iron is required.  Tony's code is
loaded into the microcontroller using free software.  Independent testing is yet to be arranged but early testing looks promising. 



Saturday, 4:30 pm (2130 UT)

Dave Gault

Grazing Occultation Analysis and Archive Project (6.9 Mb)

The Archive of Lunar Grazes was reviewed to; consolidate all historical records previously held separately by individuals and organisations into one archive,

restore previously lost observer names and telescope details in the period 1960-1974, find and correct obvious errors,

flag erroneous observations, and to find and recreate previously unreported graze reports so that they can be included in the archive.

Finally to ensure the complete archive is archived at “Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg” and that it is available through the VizieR service.



Sunday, 9:15 am (1415 UT)

David Dunham

French Observations of the July 2010 Solar Eclipse

1.  Prado Results (20 Mb)

2.  Koutchmy (5 Mb)

3.  Bazin (6 Mb)

4.  Mouette (6 Mb)

5.  Sigismondi (4 Mb)



Sunday, 10:00 am (1500 UT)

Richard Nugent

IOTA Observations of the July 2010 Solar Eclipse (1.6 Mb)

The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) was present at this eclipse as part of its long term study to measure solar radius variations.

IOTA astronomers Paul Maley, Richard Nugent and Chuck Herold traveled to 2 Atolls in the South Pacific in the French Polynesia and set up two stations -  Hikueru Atoll and Hao Atoll. 

Unfortunately the Hikueru station had cloud/rain problems immediately after 2nd contact. This was Maley's 38th eclipse expedition, Herold's 17th and Nugent's 21st. 

IOTA's method of planning eclipse stations normally places them at the north and south eclipse limits, however the path of this eclipse was just about entirely over water

so Nugent/Herold and Maley set up on complementary sides of the center line: Maley at Hikueru just 10km north

of the eclipse center line and Nugent/Herold at Hao 70 km south of the center line.

The goal was to observe the lunar mountains race across the Sun at 2nd and 3rd contact - the diamond ring effect caused by Baily's Beads  -

the breaking up sunlight caused by the lunar mountains, deep valleys and craters at the edge of the Moon.



Sunday, 10:45 am (1545 UT)

David Dunham

Accuracy of Solar Radius Determination (1.7 Mb)



Sunday, 1:00 pm (1800 UT)

David Dunham

History of Multiple Station Deployments (19 Mb)

Sample video showing quick step reappearance (0.1 second duration)  (278 Mb)



Sunday, 2:00 pm (1900 UT)

John Wright (presented by D. Dunham)

WWVB-Based Video Marker System (1.9 mb)



Sunday, 2:50 pm (1950 UT)

Scotty Degenhardt via EVO

Io and Europa Atmosphere and Io Torus Detection through Occultations and Conjunctions (8 Mb)

While taking several tens of minutes of wing data surrounding an occultation of Europa by Io in 2009 during that Jupiter Mutual Event (JME) cycle,

an anomaly was detected in the lightcurve prior to and following the actual occultation.

Analysis of this anomaly led to the hypothesis that it was the result of atmospheric extinction of the light from the occulted moon by the atmosphere of Io.

The same anomaly was then found when Europa was an occulting body. Occultations by Ganymede showed no dimming anomaly.

A study was launched to determine the source of this phenomenon we named Jovian Extinction Events (JEE).  (Full Abstract here.)

Simulation Video Clip (0.5 Mb)





Agenda (v.12)

Day EST U.T. Topic Presenter
Friday 12/3 7:00 PM 0:00 Meet at Hotel Lobby to Carpool to Restaurant  
  7:30 PM 0:30 Group Dinner at TBD; plan for Christine occultation?  
Saturday 12/4 2:02 AM 7:02 Occultation of 9.0-mag. star by (628) Christine s. of Boston  
  8:30 AM 13:30 Convene at AAVSO Headquarters in Cambridge  
      EVO Information to be provided  
    13:30 Welcome and Introductions D. Dunham
      Plan for Next Two Days  
  8:50 AM 13:50 Business Session  
  8:50 AM 13:50 Financial Report C. Ellington
  8:55 AM 13:55 Minutes of 2009 Meeting R. Nugent
  9:00 AM 14:00 New IOTA Server D. Dunham, C. Ellington
  9:05 AM 14:05 The new Middle East section of IOTA D. Dunham
  9:15 AM 14:15 Homer Daboll Award - 2010 Winner HRISTO PAVLOV T. Redding
  9:25 AM 14:25 Elections All
  9:35 AM 14:35 Status of IOTA Publications (ON, MPB, Handbook, JDSO, Etc.) D. Dunham, R. Nugent, B. Timerson, D. Herald, T. George
  9:50 AM 14:50 Break  
  10:10 AM 15:10 Report from the Vice President P. Maley (read by D. Dunham)
  10:30 AM 15:30 Plans for the 2011 Meeting, Rocklin, California in July D. Dunham
  10:45 AM 15:45 Other Business, End Business Meeting All
  11:00 AM 16:00 Technical Session-1  
  11:00 AM 16:00 Occult status, analyses of lunar/asteroidal occultations, etc. D. Herald via EVO
Maybe another talk here, depending on how much time Dave needs
  12:00 PM 17:00 Lunch  
  1:00 PM 18:00 Technical Session-2  
  1:00 PM 18:00 2010 & 2011 Best Events Summary D. Dunham
  1:30 PM 18:30 The AllTimer Video System F. Suits
  2:00 PM 19:00 A New Video Method to Measure Double Stars R. Nugent
  2:40 PM 19:40 Break  
  2:40 PM 19:40 The Alt-Az Initiative Development of Portable and Affordable          1-Meter Class Telescopes R. Genet (by telephone; B. Holenstein may help)
  3:00 PM 20:00 The Alt-Az Initiative Efforts to Improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio   of Occultation Measures B. Holenstein via EVO
  3:30 PM 20:30 Astronomical League Occultation Observing Club Proposal S. Conard
  3:45 PM 20:45 A Self-Contained Occultation Recorder B. Berger
  4:00 PM 21:00 Report on Inaugral IOTA-ME Meeting D. Gault via EVO
  4:15 PM 21:15 GPS-VTI Development D. Gault via EVO
  4:30 PM 21:30 Grazing Occultation Analysis and Archive Project D. Gault via EVO
  4:45 PM 21:45 Planning Session for Hygiea Event (weather dependent) All
  5:15 PM 22:15 End-of-Day Summary, Plans for Dinner All
  5:30 PM 22:30 Adjourn for Day  
  6:30 PM 23:30 Group Dinner at TBD  
Sunday 12/5 12:07 AM 5:31 Occultation of 10.8-mag. star by (212) Medea mainly n. of Boston  
  5:07 AM 10:07 Occultation of 10.0-mag. star by (10) Hygiea over s. New England  
  11:00 AM 16:00 Convene at Clay Center in Brookline  
Important Note:  All times have been adjusted 2 hours for observation of the Hygiea Event
  11:00 AM 16:00 Technical Session-3  
  11:00 AM 16:00 Reconvene; Agenda for the Day, Hygiea Results  
  11:15 AM 16:15 French Observations of the July 2010 Eclipse D. Dunham
  12:00 PM 17:00 IOTA Observations of July 2010 Eclipse R. Nugent
  12:30 PM 17:30 Break  
  12:45 PM 17:45 Solar Diameter Variations from Solar Eclipses D. Dunham
  1:30 PM 18:30 Clay Center--NASA and Virgin Galactic Work (title TBD) R. Dantowitz or R. Phinney
  2:00 PM 19:00 Lunch - may be later if the Clay Center tour is more than 30 min.  
  3:00 PM 20:00 Technical Session-4  
  3:00 PM 20:00 History of Multiple Station Deployments D. Dunham
  4:00 PM 21:00 WWVB-Based Video Marker System J. Wright (read by D. Dunham)
  4:30 PM 21:30 Break  
  4:50 PM 21:50 Io and Europa Atmosphere and Io Torus Detection through Occultations and Conjunctions S. Degenhardt via EVO
More talks; if cloudy for Hygiea, will probably adjourn early
  6:00 PM 23:00 Adjourn   


Please report any errors or omissions to Brad Timerson