April 9, 2020

Event of the Week: A New England Occultation.

Lunar occultations are always cool events; now you see a star or planet, now you don’t. The way they “wink in” and “wink out” with an improbable abruptness reminds us of the colossal velocity of the Moon about our planet. But beyond being just plain cool, they also still have scientific value; close double stars have been discovered this way, as they “wink out” in a step wise fashion. If enough observers are placed along the graze line, an accurate profile of the limb of the Moon can even be ascertained.

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Astro Event for July 29th-August 4th, 2008: an Arctic Eclipse.

Eclipses rarely happen over civilized areas. It seems as the shadow of the moon is extremely shy, avoiding your local suburbia and instead forcing eclipse chasers to risk life and limb, often courting terminal illness and kidnapping to see this elusive spectacle. The total eclipse of August 1st, 2008 is no exception.

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