On November 12th, using interpolated November 15th coordinates, 3 minute exposures were taken in R(ed) and I(nfrared) down to 16th magnitude, (100 times fainter than 10th magnitude). Images taken by the observatory were compared to three Palomar sky surveys. There were no objects on the observatory prints different from those on the Palomar prints. I am in a unique position to access Observatory time and enlist the expertise of a qualified astronomer. However, this time is best described as random access. I'm on standby, hence the need for an string of dates. When the Observatory 26" reflector becomes available I would like to be ready with the coordinates.
Note: the Palomar Survey in Infrared taken on January 5, 2002 took 45 minutes to complete, and when compared to a 20 minute Infrared of the same sky shows dim objects to be approximately half what they appeared to be in the Palomar, though starlight appeared to be the same. Planet X, aka the 12th Planet, showed up only as a new infrared object not on the Palomar when contrast and brightness were increased, but did appear in the 20 minute CCD. Thus, a 3 minute exposure would not show the inbound Planet X.
It was to cloudy for imaging last night. We will be trying again on Nov. 27th and Dec. 8th. Would it be possible to have the Zeta's adjust their coordinates for the Southeast. By the way the Observatory telescope does not have an eye-piece, it uses a CCD imaging system. After a thorough comparison with the Palomar images in the same coordinate location, there were absolutely no faint star like or planet like objects in our images that were not on other images taken of the same spot years ago. The CCD imaging system is capable of imaging down to at least 19th magnitude in a 4 min. exposure. The astronomer took it down to a minimum of 15th mag. Since 5 mag. is a factor of 100 X in brightness, we should have been able to see objects 100 X fainter than the 10th mag. object you predict. Extending the exposure time to 45 min. would not take us much fainter, (no more than 1 mag.). Since the ability to detect faint objects is set by sky brightness, long exposures increase the amount of sky background along with the increase in starlight. In other words, why didn't we see it?
- I heard from three observatories last Spring that they discovered it, and the two (Lowell and Vancouver) team leads who chatted directly with me made it clear they had to look out the side of their eye to see it. One astronomer, quite high in Canada but I can't reveal his ID, told Steve Havas that he located Pluto that way too. There is a big discussion on tt-watch about WHY that it. My point being, this is FAINT now. Can you, with this astonomer, bring in Pluto? Pluto is brighter, and just as large, now. Are you screenout out all BUT red spectrum? Not screening out red, but screening out all others, etc. Screening FOR infrared is ideal, but very few observatories have that capability. It must be magnified. It will be only a pixtel, like Pluto, otherwise. Even with magnification, it will be small, and NOT reflecting sunlight as Pluto is.
Thank you for the adjusted coordinates. We are currently doing everything that you suggested as far a screening out all but red. We also have infra-red capabilities, but due to our low elevation and high humidity this is compromised to a certain extent. In order to help in our search the astronomer is requesting an exact distance for X for the given dates.
- The distance will be computed close enough if you consider it 9 Sun-Pluto distances away.