My only previous attempt at observing an occultation ended in a drenching on a wet and miserable night.
Below is a graph of the change in light from a faint star as the asteroid (709) Fringilla passes in front of it. The shadow cast by Fringilla passed over the North Island of New Zealand and in a few minutes passed right over my house and then on to the Australian outback and the Western Australian coast. Armed with telescope, low-light video camera and a GPS - powered time stamper I waited for the moment when the asteroid darkened my doorway - well I suppose that's a bit dramatic but still it was a thrill to see the star blip out for about 11 seconds then blink back on as if nothing had happened.
The graph shows the duration of the occultation, about 11 seconds. And the really groovy thing is that others also observed the shadow and so people much cleverer than I can gather up all our recordings and deduce the shape, size and even the probability of companions or rings around the asteroid.
Think about that for a moment. Such exquisite resolution of an asteroid half a billion kilometres away is truly mind boggling. But it can be done, and by amateurs with inexpensive gear and a lot of enthusiasm.
So, I await the publication of the result of everyone's measurements and the revelation of the Fringilla's secrets.
NB: A very Big Thank You to Jacquie Milner and Dave Gault for their expert advice!