June 29, 2017

Astro-Vid of the Week: An Amazing Grazing Occultation

Going, going…

Credit Stellarium

What a difference a few 100 meters can make. On the night of March 5th, 2017, the waxing crescent Moon occulted the bright star Aldebaran. This event was well placed for North American viewers… heck, it even occurred over the weekend on a Saturday night, to boot. We even managed to dodge social obligations to briefly duck outside with our trusty 15x 45 image-stablized binoculars to watch Aldebaran wink out behind the dark limb of the Moon. [Read more...]

Astronomy Video Of the Week: An Occultation Weekend

 

Beta Capricorni (arrowed, click to enlarge) moments before it was occulted by the Moon on October 12th, 2013. (Photo by Author).

After a rainy Florida summer, our astronomical fortunes finally changed this past weekend. Two fine bright star occultations graced our skies on Friday night and Saturday evening. These are always fun “now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t” kinds of events to witness, as the Moon abruptly covers a distant star. Grazing events can be especially dramatic, as starlight can be seen winking in and out along the valleys along the lunar limb in a dramatic fashion. And some real science can be gathered by such events as well, as close double star companions can reveal themselves as the star lingers and winks out in a step-wise fashion. [Read more...]