An unusual celestial spectacle unfolds for observers around the Great Lakes region next Tuesday at dawn. The Moon has been faithfully occulting (passing in front of) the bright star Aldebaran for every lunation now since January 29th, 2015. This split second events have touched on nearly every farflung corner of the Earth. Now the United States and Canada get to see the penultimate event, as the waning crescent Moon occults Aldebaran one last time for North America.
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, […]
Observers in Australia and New Zealand had a special treat this week: watching Saturn disappear behind the Moon during an event called an occultation. (You can read all the details of how and why this happens here in our preview article.) Catching an event like this with a camera is tricky… the bright Moon can […]
Funny thing. Skywatchers are often just as excited to watch a celestial object disappear as we are to see it make an appearance. Early Wednesday morning (May 14) the Full Flower Moon will slip in front of Saturn, covering it from view for about an hour for observers in Australia and New Zealand. If you don’t live where […]
Rings are a tough phenomenon to spot. As late as 1977, astronomers thought that the only thing in the solar system with rings was the planet Saturn. Now, we can add the first asteroid to the list of ringed bodies nearby us. The asteroid 10199 Chariklo hosts two rings, perhaps due to a collision that caused a […]
North America’s brightest predicted asteroid occultation may be one-upped by a much bigger occultation – a solid blanket of clouds. Asteroid 163 Erigone will cover or occult the bright star Regulus shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow morning March 20. Observers along a 45-mile-wide (73-km) belt stretching from the wilderness of Nunavut to […]