Quaoar.20160614 Occultation June 14, 2016

(last updated 2016 06 09)

Finder Chart


Across the globe pictured above, the three solid lines correspond to the northern limit, centerline, and southern limit of Quaoar's shadow. The northern and southern limits correspond to a radius of 500 km. The upper and lower dashed lines indicate 1-sigma errors and take into account prediction uncertainties due to UCAC2 catalog zonal issues, possible star duplicity, and Quaoar albedo variations. The shaded area represents where the sun is more than 0 degrees below the horizon.
Table 1: Prediction Details
Quaoar Geocentric Mid-time (yyyy month dd hh:mm:ss)

2016 June 14 22:37:05± 00:04:351 UT

Quaoar Minimum Geocentric Separation 0.115± 0.02251 arcsec
Position Angle (Quaoar relative to the star; measured north through east) –178.36 degrees
Geocentric Velocity 24.66 km/sec
Occultation Star UCAC2 magnitude 13.752

1One standard deviation of random error. Includes uncertainty due to possible UCAC2 catalog zonal issues, star duplicity, and Quaoar albedo variations.
2The UCAC bandpass (579-642nm) is between V and R.

Table 2: Reference Star Position
Reference star position:
(UCAC2, at epoch of event)
RA (h:m:s; J2000) Dec (d:m:s; J2000) Notes
Quaoar.20160614 Catalog 17 52 51.6061± 0.1441 –15 23 14.656± 0.137
Quaoar.20160614 Measured3 17 52 51.6086± 0.0145 –15 23 14.603± 0.008
From 5 SARA-S frames
Table 3: Projected KBO Offsets from Reference Ephemeris at the Time of the Event
Body RA (arcsec) Dec (arcsec)  

–0.5922± 0.0410

–0.219± 0.035 See Notes 5 and 6

3Measured position corresponds to RA offset of +0.03774 and Dec. offset of +0.0534.

4All "offsets" are defined in the ("corrected" – "reference") or ("observed" – "calculated") sense. The offsets should be added to reference positions to get the measured positions, which we use to calculate the prediction.

4Data analyzed using UCAC2 reference network. A weighted average of the data from the two telescopes was used to calculate the RA and DEC. The errors given are 1 standard deviation.

5The reference positions for Haumea are those given by JPL Horizon's ephemeris (Quaoar source file: JPL16; Earth center source file: DE405).

6Data from the USNO 61-inch, SMARTS 0.9m, and Lowell 42-inch telescopes over the span of 3 years were reduced with respect to stars in the UCAC2 catalog. A model was developed to fit the residuals obtained from our measured positions compared to that of the object's JPL ephemeris. All residuals obtained from the different telescopes were consistent with the model. The model includes the first-order effects of errors in the orbital elements of Quaoar: (i) constant offsets in RA and Dec, (ii) linear (in time) offsets in RA and Dec, and (iii) sinusoidal terms with the Earth's orbital period. The model was propagated to obtain the predicted position and error of the KBO at the time of the occultation. The errors listed for the KBO are 1 standard deviation.


Table 4: Site Information

East Longitude

Site Altitude6






–70 48 54
–30 09 54
138 N
+17 06 00
–22 26 22
2696 N
+20 48 36
–32 22 54
1643 N
center of Earth
3505 N.

6Altitude of each observatory is measured in kilometers above sea level.

7"Distance" refers to the closest approach distance of the "Site" to the center of Quaoar's shadow in the shadow plane. The errors on all closest approach distances are ±6758 km (one standard deviation). "S." means the site is south of the center of Quaoar's shadow. "N." means the site is north of the center of Quaoar's shadow.

Table 5: Quaoar.20160614 Occultation Predictions for Individual Sites

KBO Immersion (UT)9
UT Mid-Time
KBO Altitude
Solar Altitude9

KBO Emersion (UT)9


9The errors on all times are ±4:35 (4 minutes and 35 seconds; one standard deviation). The solar altitude is given for locations where it is relevant (solar altitude greater than -18°). No entry in the immersion and emersion columns indicates that the occultation is not predicted to be visible at that site.


Last updated by Carlos Zuluaga (czuluaga@mit.edu) 2016-06-09 14:54

Please direct all inquiries to PAL (planetary-astronomy@mit.edu)