September 21, 2019

Astro-Vid of the Week- Captured: Venus Occults a Naked Eye Star

Our chart of the passage of Lambda Aquarii behind Venus on April 16th.

Created using Stellarium.

We love it when backyard observers rise to the challenge. We wrote recently about the prospects for catching the occultation of the +3.7 magnitude star Lambda Aquarii by the planet Venus on the morning of April 16th. Most occultations involve the Moon or asteroids, but very occasionally, a planetary disk will also blot out a distant star. [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...]