Video: Watch The Moon Slowly Blot Out Saturn In Australia

by Elizabeth Howell on August 8, 2014

Wow! Check out this video of the Moon passing in front of Saturn from a viewpoint in Brisbane, Australia. This type of phenomenon, called an occultation, happens when one celestial body passes in front of the other from an observer’s standpoint. You can see some information about a June 10 occultation of Saturn, for example, at this link.

“There has been a fair amount of post-processing done on the images to get to this result. The first stage was to adjust the source images so that detail was visible both on Saturn and on the Moon. This is because the two objects are quite different in brightness, and so each individual exposure results in a slightly over-exposed Moon and a slightly under-exposed Saturn,” wrote Teale Britstra, who created the video, on Vimeo.

“After initial processing, the series of images were imported into video editing software, and the resulting footage stabilized to eliminate some small tracking errors between shots,” Britstra continued.

“There was also one LARGE tracking error, where I had to physically move the telescope. This was because the Moon was sinking towards the western horizon and some nearby, large trees which would have obscured the shot had the scope not been moved. This can be seen in the resulting footage as the period where the Moon appears to slow down and slightly change direction.”

Britstra has done a few other videos on Vimeo as well, including a dramatic sunrise at Horseshoe Bay in Australia.

Credit: Gadi Eidelheit

Credit: Gadi Eidelheit

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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