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Richard Drumm The Astronomy Bum

Patterns in Titan transits & shadow passes!

21 Mar 2009, 15:54 UTC
Patterns in Titan transits & shadow passes!
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated by patterns. Titan's orbital period is approximately equal to 2 weeks + 2 days - 1 hour. So we have 3 patterns superimposed here:- You can see the time of day for the events slowly march backwards in approximately one hour increments from 4:52 AM to 3:16 PM.- You can see the lack of transit transition through "barely" a transit to full transit to perfect ringplane transit to full transit to "barely" transit to no transit.- You can see the altitude at shadow pass start times decrease, then increase. I'm not sure why Mar 28 has 18*43' and not 21*, but I'm just going by what Starry Night Pro indicated. I tried to eliminate as a source of error how far advanced the shadow was when I stopped the software and read off the numbers. The time is when the whole shadow is first visible. I also made a point of recording the minutes of arc as well. Still the March event is lower in the sky than the April 13 event. I'm stumped. The only thing I can think of is the curvature of Saturn's surface is playing a role ...

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