Pic du Midi T1M planets observation campaigns workshop

An international amateur workshop supported by Europlanet 2020-RI

This workshop follows one topic discussed during the international amateur workshop supported by Europlanet 2020-RI “Juno Ground-Based Support from Amateurs: Science and Public Impact” in Nice, May 2016

Since 15 years, amateurs have proven their high skills and potentials in planetary imaging, which proved useful to support planetary science research or missions, and even lead regularly to discovery (impacts, atmospheric features, etc.). Pic du Midi T1M, dedicated to solar system study, is a top instrument which can deliver some of the best planetary high resolution images and could be operated by amateurs to maximize the observational coverage.

Aim of the workshop is to build an amateur team which will be using the professional OMP-Pic du Midi observatory’s one meter telescope (T1M) infrastructure
The participation to observational campaigns made possible by this workshop are international campaigns led by the professionals leading the planets’ atmosphere’s studies, mostly from US and Europe.
The (limited) number of participants are leading amateurs in planetary imaging, from different European countries (UK, Netherlands, Romania, France).
All observational results obtained during the workshop and later in the following observational campaigns will be shared through the PVOL database, linked to the VESPA program. The results of the observational campaigns made at Pic du Midi will be used by the Bilbao's research on planets’ atmosphere, and in the long term could potentially support ESA’s Mars 2020 and Juice mission.

Workshop Team (SOC/LOC):

    - François Colas (CNRS - IMCCE - Paris Observatory ), PI of the instrument and of S2P (Station de Palnetologie des Pyrénées), solar system planets and objects expert            

    - Marc Delcroix (SAF planetary observation commission president, amateur astronomer, planetary imager, user of the T1M, collaborator with professionnals on planetary science studies)

Workshop participants :

- Ricardo Hueso (Dpto. Física Aplicada I, Escuela de Ingeniería de Bilbao, UPV/EHU, Planetary scientist lead)
- Emil Kraaikamp (Netherlands, amateur astronomer, planets imager, author of Autostakkert planetary image processing software)
- Damian Peach (UK, amateur astronomer,
planetary imager)
- Constantin Sprianu (Romania, amateur astronomer,
planetary imager)
- Gérard Thérin (France, amateur astronomer,
planetary imager)

arrival at Pic du Midi June 9th 2017, departure June 12th 2017 (3 nights)
            Departure from Toulouse airport (2 cars) on June 9th around noon, return to Toulouse airport on June 12th around 4pm

- training by Marc & François of a small advanced amateurs team (5p) for using one meter telescope (“T1M”) Pic du Midi telescope for planetary imaging during three observation nights, depending on the weather conditions (see 1 & 2).
        (Guide available in French, to be translated in English)

- targets for 3 nights of observation:
        Jupiter at beginning of night (meridian transit at 43° elevation around 19:30 UT, 20° elevation at 23:30UT)
(meridian transit at 25° elevation around 00:30 UT, 20° elevation at 02:30UT)
        Neptune possibly at the end of night (27° elevation around 03:00UT)
        Moon (around full moon, visible all night long)

- definition of organization to follow planetary science programs and observation campaigns:
            - Juno ground based support
            - Jupiter/Saturn impacts tracking
            - Uranus/Neptune activity tracking
            - other events of interest following professionals’ alerts


Results (planetary images and pictures of the workshop will be updated here) :
- Over 3 nights, we got 2 Venus, 3 Jupiter, 3 Saturn, 2 Neptune, 1 Uranus observation sessions. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn images are of excellent high resolution, very valuable for future work.
- Scientific work will be done to get fine analysis of wind speeds on Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, and will support probes missions (Juno, Cassini, Akatsuki)
- First Neptune atmospheric activity of this apparition was detected

- Venus images (in work, continuously updated in june/july)
- Jupiter images (in work, continuously updated in june/july)
- Saturn images (in work, continuously updated in june/july)
- Uranus images
- Neptune images

Acknowledgements: This workshop is supported by Europlanet 2020 RI Work Package NA1 - Innovation through Science Networking, Task 5. The EU-project Europlanet 2020 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208.
Additional support from the IMCCE (Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Ephémérides) / S2P (Station de Planétologie des Pyrénées) / OMP (Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées) is also acknowledged.