A prediction method for ground-based stellar occultations by ellipsoidal solar system bodies and its

Ye Yuan1,2, Yan-Ning Fu1 and Zhuo Cheng1   2017-05-29 00:20:10

1 Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; yuanye@pmo.ac.cn

2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 2016 April 5; accepted 2017 January 20

  Abstract A new programmable prediction method is developed to refine the occultation band by taking into consideration the triaxiality of an occulting body, as well as two more factors, namely, the barycenter offset of an occulting planet from the relevant planetary satellite system and the gravitational deflection of light rays due to an occulting planet. Although these factors can be neglected in most cases, it is shown that there are cases when these factors can cause a variation ranging from several tens to thousands of kilometers in the boundaries of occultation bands. Knowledge of analytic geometry simplifies the process of derivation and computation. This method is applied to long-term predictions of Jovian and Saturnian events.

  Key words: methods: analytical—methods: numerical—astrometry—ephemerides—occultations—reference systems

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