Recommended Equipment for Observing Occultations
Almost any telescope or optical system can be used for timing occultations. Larger telescopes obviously do better with dim target stars. But small scopes are more convenient when traveling or when setting up multiple observing stations for a single event. Better quality optics are always a plus but lower quality optics often work fine – particularly with brighter target stars. Shorter focal lengths are often helpful for two reason: improved SNR with most CCD cameras and a wider field of view. The wider field of view is helpful when trying point the scope at the target star and a wider field of view is sometimes required for the “pre-point” technique.
Timing/Recording for Visual observations
Video recordings are the preferred method of observing occultations however visual observations can still be useful. The IOTA Observer’s manual describes the basic techniques and equipment for visual observations.
Timing/Recording with Analog Video Cameras
IOTA observers have used analog video security cameras for timing occultations for many years. The selection of analog video cameras and other gear has decreased in recent years however this is still the prevalent method of recording occultations. Here is a list of equipment used for observing and recording occultations with analog video:
- Analog Video Camera : Recommended Analog Video Cameras
- C to 1 1/4″ adapter (camera to eyepiece holder) : Recommended optical accessories
- Focal reducer : Recommended optical accessories
- GPS Video Time Inserter: IOTA-VTI
- Analog Video Recorder : Recommended Analog Video Recorders
- Power and video cabling : Recommended power / cable accessories
For information on using this equipment to record occultations see the various observing manuals.
2016-Aug-15: initial version