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ready set…

February 12th, 2009

Even as I write, HD 80606b is closing in fast on its inferior conjunction. It’s basically a roll of a die, a roughly one in 6 chance, that the orbital alignment is good enough for a primary transit to be observable. (The odds are boosted from the a-priori geometric probability of 11% to ~15% by the fact that the secondary transit was fully consistent with an uninclined passage directly behind the star.)

Here’s the situation:

A central transit will last roughly 16 hours, with the ingress best suited for observers in the Far East, and the egress best suited for observers in North America. Europe is the place to be for transits that are closer to grazing. HD 80606 itself is favorably sited in Ursa Majoris, and is at low air mass for basically the entire night, especially at higher latitudes.

Good luck to everyone who’ll be observing!

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