Re: (IAAC) Lunar Occultations
>Has anyone in the group spent much time observing lunar occultations of
>the planets or stars?
Speaking of occulations, there was an occulation of Aldebaran on March 4
which I saw completely by accident. I was on vacation just north of Tampa
FL, and I had come home from dinner. I glanced up and pretty much the
instant I did I saw a star wink out behind the east (left) limb, near the
lunar equator. I'd say I saw the star for less than half a second before it
disappeared. Because of the infinitessimal chance that I'd look up at just
the instant of the occultation, and because it disappeared pretty much dead
on the equator, I assumed my eyes were playing tricks on me and I didn't
bother to wait for the star to reappear. However, I made a mental note that
it was shortly after 7 pm on Wednesday.
Well, by gum, it turned out to be for real! When I got back I found this
web site:http://www.anomalies.com/iota/aldeinfo.htm . In particular, check
out the figure showing the path of the occultation. According to this page,
the occultation occured at 7:07pm EST, eleven minutes after the end of civil
I suppose that given the brightness of the star and the fact that it's
easily identifiable by its position relative to Orion that I should have
figured it out, but in fact the constellations were not prominently visible
at that place and time. I was also somewhat distracted by the fact that
we'd just taken our two year old daughter for emergency hand surgery (she'll
be fine), so I had other things on my mind besides observing.