Near-infrared stellar occultation predictions for Uranus and Neptune: 1987-1990.

P. D. Nicholson, B. McLeod, G. Gilmore, M. W. Buie, and K. Matthews. Astron. J. 95, 562-575 (1988) .


Stellar-occultation predictions are presented for Uranus and Neptune covering the period 1987-1990, based on automated scans of R and I plates taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. These scans have revealed many late-type or highly reddened stars suitable for stellar-occultation observations at 2.2 microns that were missed in previous searches of yellow-sensitive astrographic plates (Mink and Klemola, 1985). Comparisons involving several hundred stars measured by Mink and Klemola (1985) indicate that the internal random errors in the stellar positions estimated here are less than about 0.2 arcsec, comparable to the precision reached using conventional astrographic methods. In addition, JHK photometry was obtained for many of the Neptune stars, which is used to establish an empirical (I-K) vs (R-I) calibration for the remaining occultation candidates, and thus provide estimates of their K magnitudes.

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