Астрофизический семинар ИНАСАН № 230 (11 апреля 2012 г., 15:00)

Опубликовано: 11/04/2012

Докладчик: David W. Dunham (KinetX, Inc. and Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics)

Название доклада: “My half century of exploring the Moon, asteroids, comets, and stars with occultations and spacecraft”

Краткое содержание доклада:
My interest in astronomy began as an 11-year-old when I taught myself the constellations under the clear skies of Karachi, Pakistan, where my father worked on a foreign aid project. Four years later back home in California, using a small telescope, I observed a near grazing occultation which ignited a life-long quest to explore the cosmos, both with ground-based telescopes and calculating trajectories for scientific satellites. I participated enthusiastically in the Moonwatch program organized to observe the first artificial satellites, using that as a background for founding the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) of mainly amateur astronomers to observe lunar and asteroidal occultations, lunar meteor impacts, and solar eclipses. IOTA observers in dozens of countries have determined accurate profiles for over 100 asteroids, finding evidence for satellites of several of them, and have discovered numerous very close double stars. In recent years, the observations have been augmented by deploying multiple small telescopes that remotely video record the occultations. Since 1976, working with Dr. Robert Farquhar and others, I have computed trajectories and maneuvers for spacecraft that have accomplished the following scientific “firsts”: Libration-point mission to study the solar wind input to the Earth, the Earth’s distant geomagnetic tail, and comet flyby (Third International Sun-Earth Explorer/International Cometary Explorer); flyby of a C-class asteroid, and orbiting and landing on an asteroid (NEAR – Shoemaker); three-dimensional images of the Sun (STEREO); new flyby of a previously-visited comet (Stardust – NexT); and orbiter of Mercury (MESSENGER).