Reid Allenstein

Ian Norfolk


We are celebrating a new year for RECON as we presume the funding has been reinstated and because of this we have a lot of events coming up. We have an event coming up tonight which will be the 1st test for the new assistant operator Reid Allenstein.


The RECON Occultation events have been really sparse. So far it doesn’t appear we have an event for the next month and we are waiting for an update soon.


We have been having a pretty interesting and exciting couple weeks. We have participated in 2 events 1 of which is successful. We have one more event this month but we will not be participating in it as P.I. will not be available.


We have an event on Monday morning at 2 AM and last weeks event is being analysed.


Last night’s event did not go as planned, to say the least.  We experienced mechanical failures and electrical failure.  Also, we have a new PI who is by himself (me) and my experience is lacking which made my speed for an already time-crunched schedule out of control.


We have analyzed our recent event and will be sending our data to the RECON core team.


As of the current date, things are going smoothly for the arrival of the conference.  The occultation on the 10th was sadly unsuccesful fue to poor weather and timing. We have not been updated on the next event and will be preparing for the confrence from here,


We have made much progress over the last few months. We have been through a dozen or so occultation events. Ian Norfolk has been nominated to represent us at the Boulder City RECON meeting.


There is a RECON occultation event coming up on March 31st at 11:24 UT. This is an early morning event in which Amalthea will be occulting the 14.4 magnitude star 4UC 363-101590. This is a good opportunity to observe an occultation because based on the viewing-map, we should be in optimal position to see it. We are trying to arrange this opportunity into a more public event by advertising it around the school. We will also need to schedule days to practice techniques in order to observe the occultation. Below is further information concerning the occultation event. 


We are investigating the possibility of getting a set of solar filters for the Meade 10″ so that we can expand its use to solar astronomy as well. We would need a hydrogen-alpha filter, which poses a bit of a price challenge. Additionally, there is a RECON event coming up this Saturday night/Sunday morning at 1 am. The practice will be on Friday night at 10 pm.


There is a RECON event coming up on the 17th of this month, and a practice will be held the Friday before, not he 10th, after the SMAAC meeting. We also now have cables to connect the telescope to the laptop, and it will be tested at the practice.


I finally got a light curve from the January observation using LiMovie on the new laptop, but at first glance, it doesn’t look like we observed an occultation. There is an issue of static bars progressively scanning down the feed from the camera, which causes some interference and needs to be sorted.


We received the RECON laptop. The telescope is a Meade LX200 12″, and can be connected to our laptop using RS-232 protocol. For this, we need an RJ[something] connector to connect to the telescope and a USB head for the computer. TheSkyX Professional is now being downloaded onto the laptop. We also need to download the cwrsync tool.


We have ordered a laptop for RECON use, and a serial to USB adapter, so that the telescope can be connected to the said laptop, allowing us to control it.


We downloaded TheSkyX Professional edition from Bisque software, which will allow us to control the telescope remotely as well as doing our own dark field subtraction to more accurately analyze our own data.


As of today, Wildwood has at least partly participated in a total of 10 viewings in coordination with RECON.


Figure 1: RECON Sites

Next viewing: 2016/10/24 06:11:34 – 06:27:46 UTC




Overview: RECON (Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network) is a new project that works to better understand the outer reaches of our solar system. There are about 50 telescopes stationed all up and down the western coast of the United States, each of which is manned by students, amateur astronomers, and professionals. Each member of RECON works to gain a more in-depth knowledge of Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), of which there are more than 100,000, and of which we have a


Figure 2: RECON Logo

relatively low understanding, by monitoring the change in brightness of stars as these objects pass in front of (occult) them.

Viewing conditions near our site:

Bibliography: RECON