On November 10-11, Unistellar Citizen Scientists will have the chance to participate in our Network’s first occultation of a trans-Neptunian object!
Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are located in the outer region of our Solar System, beyond the planet Neptune. Pluto is the largest known TNO, followed by Eris, Haumea, and Makemake.
The TNO known as 2002 TC302 will pass in front of a distant star from our view here on Earth, in an event known as an occultation. Starting at 2:49 AM UTC (November 11), it will be visible in a path across Europe and the Middle East from Israel to Ireland, covering almost all of Europe and spanning over 25 countries.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the occultation will also be visible from a large portion of the United States and Canada, from Quebec to San Diego, California, starting at 8:53 PM CST on November 10 (details of the path can be found on the Lucky Stars page). The potential path covers most of the province of Quebec in Canada, as well as the Northeastern, Central and Southwestern US.
If successful, this occultation event could be our second transatlantic occultation!
Orbit of 2002 TC302. Simulation by Tony Dunn.
Quick Facts about 2002 TC302
- Classified as a Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO), located in the outer region of our Solar System, beyond Neptune
- Discovered in 2002 by American astronomers Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz
- Reddish in color
- Possible binary system
- At least 310 miles (500 kilometers) across
View of 2002 TC302 from Earth flying through the constellations in our sky. Simulation by Tony Dunn.
Ready to Observe?
If you detect the shadow of 2002 TC302, we can build a model of its shape and refine its orbit!
Check out our Asteroid Occultation Predictions page for more details on this occultation including location, timing, and more.
- Depending on your location, click on Western Europe or North America in the drop-down menu
- Scroll down the page until you find 2002 TC302. Then, click on it.
- A map of Western Europe or North America with the path of the occultation should appear below.
- Zoom into the map so you can see the exact location where you can observe this occultation.
- Check the information above the map to make sure you have the correct parameters and observe for the correct duration.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.