2024 Occultations by Major Planets and their Satellites - Updated 2024 January 2

Details for the Observable Occultation by Callisto on January 15 UT

Occultation by Uranus moon Miranda on January 20 in s. Europe

Corrected Occult Watcher link, and RASC Handbook corrections

These occultations are described and illustrated (with several Occult maps) 
in this .pdf document. It includes several hot links to external Web 
pages, but links to internal files, the .xml input files 
used by the Occult program, are given below. When you open these files 
with your Web browser, you should get a display that looks like this.
The larger files may take a couple of minutes to show this appearance, 
showing a messed-up display before then. Once the proper view appears, 
right-click anywhere on the display, then "Save as" to a directory
on your computer; the best directory is the \Asteroid\ subdirectory 
in your Occult\ directory.
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As noted in the .pdf document, there will be an important occultation by Callisto 
on Jan. 15. Although at mag. 8.8, the star is fainter than Callisto, the expected 
mag. drop of 0.06 should be detectable with 20cm and larger telescopes, helped by 
the relatively long central duration of over 8 minutes. Callisto is well-separated 
from Jupiter; Ganymede, on the opposite side of the planet, might be used as a 
comparison object, if a suitable star is not available in your FOV. The occultation
will first occur over the Hawaiian Islands, then over much of the USA south of the 
northern limit (at approximately latitude 42 deg. north), and Mexico. The event 
will likely be too low (in the west) to observe east of the Mississippi River. The 
Lucky Star Project is interested in this event. It will help the ESA Jupiter Icy 
Moons Explorer, or JUICE, mission that was launched last April, but will not arrive 
at Jupiter, to begin its tour of the Galilean satellites, until 2032.

Below are links to useful files about the event:
Occult map
Map of USA showning the northern limit
Jupiter and Satellites Configuration
Contact (D and R, UT) times for about 150 cities
  These are in chronological order; find a city closest to you and remember it for the next file.
Central time UT and circumstances for about 150 cities
  These are in south to north order, relative to the path. Most cities north of the northern
  limit are not included. The altitudes of Callisto and the Sun are given in the last 
  columns. It may be best to copy all, and paste this into (or download it as) a plain  
  text file that you can edit (with Notepad or Word), to find the city closest to you.
Occult4 input file for just this occultation.
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There will be an important occultation by Miranda, the innermost (5th discovered) 
of the larger moons of Uranus, but the star is faint, with the occultation occurring 
for up to 51s around 21:50 UT over a 500-km-wide path over southern Europe, as shown 
in this world view. The Gmag of the star is 15.6 so long exposures or integrations 
will be needed for those without very large telescopes. The path crosses some of the 
same regions crossed by the Betelgeuse/Leona event last month. Those who might be 
able to record this event should read this message by Marcelo Assafin about it.
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The USA edition of the 2024 RASC Observers Handbook left out the column 
labels for all of the tables of occultations by asteroids on pages 245 to 251, 
an error that crept in just before the print run and after (correct) galley 
proofs had been sent to me for review. Corrected .pdf pages are posted on 
the website of the RASC Handbook.

Another problem, spotted by Joan, is an updated link for Occult Watcher, on p. 246, 
7th line counting up from “Occultations by Near-Earth Asteroids” the link given 
there can not be used to access the current version of the software. After I 
submitted the old link, Steve Preston created a better page for Occult Watcher 
that gives much information about it, as well as the link for the current version. 
This update is noted on the RASC 2024 Handbook updates page.

Not yet on the RASC correction page is the following:

On p. 248, 2nd line of “Occultations by Special Main-Belt Asteroids”, there are 
no spaces between any of the words on that line. I’m not sure how this happened, 
it is OK (with appropriate spaces) in the Word file I submitted, but this error 
is in all of the proof .pdf’s that were sent to me in late August and early Sept. 
I should have seen it in those, but missed it, as apparently did all the other 
reviewers; Joan found this last night.
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For 2024:
Worldwide major planet and satellites events, 341 events
A list of all of these events is here.

Worldwide asteroid events from Steve Preston, including the major planet and satellite events
 - for the asteroidals, including many NEA and TNO events prediction maps and data are 
available at https://www.asteroidoccultation.com/.
Starting this year, Steve will no longer update these. 
Occult Watcher, described in the .pdf document, is the best way to find out 
about UPDATED upcoming events near your location. But the link there is not 
the best one; you should learn about and obtain the software at this link.

Pages for maps and predictions of occultations by special classes of 
asteroids can be reached by clicking on the links below:

Brighter stars occulted by Main-Belt Asteroids

These other pages below will be posted soon:

Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs)
Selected Special Main-Belt Asteroids
Trojan Asteroids (Lucy targets are emphasized) 
Distant objects (Comet SW1, Centaurs, TNOs, and some satellites)

David and Joan Dunham, 2023 December 31 and 2024 January 2
e-mail:  dunham@starpower.net
cell phone:  301-526-5590