Didymos Occultations - ACROSS project

In the post DART impact period, Didymos's orbital uncertainties have been reduced enough that we can predict stellar occultations with better accuracy. This in turn led to the first positive observations of stellar occultations by Didymos. In the table below we present a short list of observed events from around the world along with the observers and number of observed chords. 

15/10/2022 US
Observers: Roger Venable,Randy Trank, Robert Dunford
Positive: 1
Negative: 4
18/10/2022 Spain
Observers: Miguel Sánchez, Antonio Román, Sergio Alonso, Alexis Castillo, Stefan Cikota, Rodrigo Leiva, Javier Flores , Nicolás Morales
Positive: 1
Negative: 4
18/10/2022 Japan
Observers: Katsuhiko Kitazaki, Hayato Watanabe, Miyoshi Ida, Norihiro Manago, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hidehito Yamamura, Akira Asai, Masumi Takimoto
Positive: 2
Negative: 3
Poor Conditions 2
19/10/2022 US
Observers: Roger Venable
Positive: 1
Negative: 0
19/10/2022 Japan
Observers: Miyoshi Ida, Hidehito Yamamura, Hayato Watanabe, Katsuhiko Kitazaki, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Akira Asai,Masumi Takimoto, Norihiro Manago
Positive: 6
Negative: 1
21/10/2022 US
Observers: David Dunham, Joan Dunham
Positive: 1
Negative: 0
26/10/2022 US
Observers: Roger Venable
Positive: 3
Negative: 0
27/10/2022 US
Observers: Kevin Cobble, Roger Venable, Skip Whitehurst, Normal Carlson, John Moore
Positive: 3
Negative: 0
27/10/2022 Japan
Observers: Norihiro Manago, Hideki Yoshihara, Akira Asai, Masumi Takimoto, Miyoshi Ida, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hidehito Yamamura, Hayato Watanabe, Masaru Yamashita
Positive: 2
Negative: 6
4/11/2022 Japan
Observers : Hidehito Yamamura, Akira Asai, Masumi Takimoto, Katsuhiko Kitazaki, Miyoshi Ida, Hayato Watanabe, Hiroyuki Watanabe
Positive: 4
Negative: 2
12/11/2022 US
Observers: Robert Jones, Norman Carlson, Paul Maley, Richard Nolthenius
Positive: 4
Negative: 0
14/11/2022 US
Observers: David W. Dunham
Positive: 2
Negative: 0
15/11/2022 US
Observers: Robert Jones
Positive: 1
Negative: 0


Attempts to record stellar occultation by Didymos occurred before the DART impact. Of course, the orbital uncertainties were much larger which added an extra degree of difficulty to the expenditions. Despite the only negative results, these expeditions can provide restrictions to the orbit of Didymos. The table below lists some of the pre-impact attempts.


06/25/2022 US
Status: All Negatives
Observers: Roger Venable, Robert Jones
07/29/2022 Japan
Status: All Negatives
Observers: Ken Isobe, Hisashi Kasebe, Akira Asai, Hiroshi Kishimoto, Katsuhiko Kitazaki, Hidehito Yamamura, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Hideki, Yoshihara, Hayato Watanabe
08/25/2022 Portugal, Spain, Algeria
Status: All Negatives + Bad Weather
Observers: A. Román, M. N’Diaye, A. Sergeyev, B. Lott, R. Nugent, S. Alonso, J. Lecachaux, A. Selva, J. Jewell, F. Colas, R. Gonçalves, D. Díaz, G. Tsirvoulis, B. Keeney, S. Chesley, T. Nagata, G. Correia, N. Carlson, D. Souami, A. Boulkaboul, D. Baba Aissa, J. Broughton, J.M. Madiedo, K. Cobble, J.B. Marquette, J. Delgado, G. Voyatzis, T. Haymes, K. Isobe, G. Langin, S. Leseche, A. Meade, F. Marques, T. Legault, A. Toliou, E. Fernández, S. Cikota, P. Maley, M. Dahmani Della, S. Sylla, A. Benaida, S. Renner, H. Pavlov, N. Kretlow, N. Graciá, Z. Bouyahiaoui, P. de la Fuente, J. Flores, A. Siakas, C. Schnabel, S. Bouquillon, J. Irwin, H. Kasebe, N. Manago, F. Garcia, G. I. Boudiba, I. Gkolias, P. Tanga, J. Moore, M. Sánchez, K. Tsiganis, M. Vara, V. de Ory, N. Morales, A. Gringahcene, J. Desmars, D. Darson, T. Blank, M. Buie, D. Baratoux, Y. Kiliç, J. Ferreira, S. Tsavdaridis
09/20/2022 EAU, Oman
Status: All Negatives
Observers:  Alex Siakas, Sotiris Tsavdaridis, Omar Al Shammakhy, Nabhan Al Badi, Zach Ioannou, Shatha Almazroui, Ryan Lambert, Dileesh Suseelan, Shahad Al Balushi, Sebastian, Milan Bogosavljević, Paul Dalba, Mohamad Ali-Dib, Jasmina Blecic, Moe Abbas, Danish Khan



NEA Occultations - ACROSS project

(385 186) 1994 AW1

This NEA with a diameter estimated 0.811 km, was observed on August 5th 2022 from Jerzmanowice, Poland. There was one chord and 2 negative observations registered which provided the astrometric position of the asteroid and uncertainties of 1-2 mas order of magnitude.


Lightcurve of the (385 186) 1994 AW1 event. Using SORA (python) library we were able to achieve precision of 0.002s in the event's timing


new ellipse fit

Single chord event by the asteroid (385 186) 1994 AW1. We assume spherical shape for the asteroid. In the picture one can see the observed chord(blue line) and its uncertainties (red lines) as well as the best fitted circle (black) and the fitted circles within 1-sigma uncertainty limit. Using SORA library we extract the astrometric position and uncertainties ~2mas. 

NEA Occultations prior to this project


(3 200) Phaethon

 This NEA, with a Diameter approximately 6 km, was campaigned for in 2019, resulting in 6 recorded events with at least one positive chord in that year, plus two other events in the years that followed. This marked a turning point on the prospects of searching for NEA events, a task not feasible only a couple of years priors, and made possible thanks to the recent Gaia Data Releases, as well as the ever-increasing list of potential NEA targets.


3200 phaethon 2019jul29

6 chords registered in the first event. Uncertainties of ~2 mas. (Source: Occult)

phaethon zoom

Lightcurve of (3 200) Phaethon event obtained by the OCA team. Thanks to extensive preparation, a precision of 0.002s was obtained in the event's timing!

3200 phaethon 2021oct03

15-chord event of (3 200) Phaethon registered on 2021/10/03. A non-spherical shape is clearly visible. (Source: Occult)


List of (3 200) Phaethon events so far (source: Occult)


(99 942) Apophis

 This NEA was considered a potentially hazardous object, even reaching Level 4 on the Torino Scale at one point. In 2021, fears of a potential impact from this object on Earth were mitigated, in no small part thanks to a campaign of occultations that resulted in 5 events with at least one positive chord in the span of two months. The low uncertainties usually associated to occultations allowed an improvement to the orbit of Apophis, clearing any chance of impact in the foreseable future.


 99942 apophis 2021mar07

On 2021/03/07, the first occultation by (99 942) Apophis with positive chords was confirmed. 3 chords were reported for this event. (Source: Occult)

99942 apophis 2021may06

4 chords on a single (99 942) Apophis event, the best so far. (Source: Occult)

List of (99 942) Apophis events so far (source: Occult)

There have been observations to two other NEA, (433) Eros and (1 036) Ganymed. However, due to their large sizes (> 15 km), they are left out of these examples, as these occultations do not accurately represent the type of events we are preparing for. 


Last Edited: 2022/03/02