Are you ready for a weekend observing treat? Then get out your binoculars, telescopes, or just your eyes as the Moon passes over a bright star. Who, what, when and where? Come on inside and find out…
On September 3, 2001 the dark limb of the Moon will encounter 2.3 magnitude Delta Scorpii. The event can be seen from the eastern and southern United States to northern Venezuela. But don’t be discouraged if you aren’t right in that “zone”. For observers from roughly New York City through central Texas to Baja California, you’ll have an event called a “graze” – where the star will appear to slide along the edge – or just be mighty close.
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When do you need to observe? Thankfully the event takes place in the early evening, starting around 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings time. But don’t wait until that moment to begin your observations! Get your equipment set up in advance and consult with this IOTA page for precise times and locations.
What do you need to observe an occultation? In this circumstance, the Moon isn’t quite half lit, so the glare won’t be so bad that you can’t observe with your eyes alone. However, a pair of binoculars or a small telescope will make the event far more interesting! For even more fun, take along an accurate watch and time it yourself. If you are in the occultation path, watch to see if Delta disappears and reappears behind a crater rim. Then watch as the whole scene shifts west and the star emerges again!
It’s all great fun and we wish you clear skies!