July 31, 2014

Astro Vid Of the Week: Catch the Moon Occulting Saturn Live!

Coming up this Wednesday.

Credit: The Virtual Telescope Project.

One of the most photogenic celestial events of the month occurs this Wednesday, as the waxing gibbous Moon meets the planet Saturn.

And although this conjunction will be a near miss for most of the planet, observers in southern Australia and New Zealand will see the Moon occult (pass in front of) the ringed planet around 12:00 Universal Time (UT) on the evening of May14th/15th.

And there’s even more good news, as the folks over at the Virtual Telescope Project plan to bring the occultation to the world live starting at 10:15 UT/ 6:15 AM EDT on Wednesday, May 14th. You can watch the broadcast at the following link.

Views from Down Under courtesy of the Virtual Telescope Project and Astronomers Without Borders have become a common sight. Just last month, they streamed the partial eclipse from Australia live:

Five separate telescope operators across Australia and New Zealand will join astrophysicist Gianluca Masi to cover the event Wednesday. The Moon will be about 4 fours prior to Full when the occultation occurs, and although most of us won’t see the occultation from our backyard, it may still be possible to squeeze both Saturn and the limb of the Moon into the same low power field of view using binoculars or a telescope. Photo op!

This is also the 5th occultation of Saturn by the Moon for 2014, with 11 occurring overall. Be sure to check out the close pass coming to a sky near you this week, and watch the occultation online!

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