Saturn Event Predictions

J. E. Arlot and W. Thuillot of the Bureau des Londitudes in Paris have predicted the times of events (transits, occultations and eclipses) involving the classical satellites of Saturn. Their paper (Icarus 105, 427-440, 1993) contains tables of the most easily observed events. The complete lists are available here and also via anonymous FTP from ftp://ftp.bdl.fr/pub/misc /phesat95_thomas/.

P. D. Nicholson of Cornell University has predicted the times of eclipse disappearances and reappearances for the small inner satellites. Eclipse disappearances occur between May 22 and Aug 10; reappearances occur between Nov 21 and Feb 11, 1996. There are 100-150 events in each set. The times are accurate to within a few minutes, subject to larger ephemeris errors for Atlas and especially for Pan (about 1 hour). All times are corrected for mean light travel time, and are in UTC. The Janus/Epimetheus ephemeris includes the co- orbital libration model from Nicholson et al. (Icarus 100, 464-484, 1992); the Pan ephemeris is based on Showalter, Visual detection of 1981S13, Saturn’s eighteenth satellite, and its role in the Encke gap (Nature 351, 709-713, 1991); the other ephemerides are from JPL. All assume circular orbits. Nicholson has more accurate predictions for individual dates, if needed, including the eccentricities and inclinations, and instantaneous light time corrections.

Following the May and August 1995 events, P. D. Nicholson has revised predictions of eclipse reappearance times for Prometheus, Pandora, Janus, and Epimetheus. Note that Prometheus event times have changed rather significantly.

Dr. Eliot Young of NASA Ames is organizing a campaign to map the surface of Titan using satellite mutual events.