The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Lunar occultation of Beta Tauri

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Elnath

The Moon will pass in front of Beta Tauri (Elnath), creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Australia, eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands amongst others.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from San Diego, though a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Beta Tauri (Elnath) is visible (shown in red), and where its reappearance is visible (shown in blue). Solid contours show where each event is likely to be visible through binoculars at a reasonable altitude in the sky. Dotted contours indicate where each event occurs above the horizon, but may not be visible due to the sky being too bright or the Moon being very close to the horizon.

Map showing where the occultation is visible

Outside of the contours, the Moon does not pass in front of Beta Tauri (Elnath) at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair may be visible.

The map can be downloaded in PNG , PDF or SVG format. A KMZ file , is also available, which can be opened in Google Earth to provide a higher resolution map.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
(UTC)
Australia 00:58–19:15
Indonesia 22:06–19:17
Papua New Guinea 22:55–19:44
Solomon Islands 05:45–19:50
East Timor 22:22–18:53
Federated States of Micronesia 23:13–20:09
Guam 23:04–19:19
Northern Mariana Islands 23:06–19:18
Palau 22:38–18:54

Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a small fraction of the Earth's surface. Since the Moon is much closer to the Earth than other celestial objects, its exact position in the sky differs depending on your exact location on Earth due to its large parallax. The position of the Moon as seen from two points on opposite sides of the Earth varies by up to two degrees, or four times the diameter of the full moon.

This means that if the Moon is aligned to pass in front of a particular object for an observer on one side of the Earth, it will appear up to two degrees away from that object on the other side of the Earth.

The position of Beta Tauri (Elnath) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Beta Tauri (Elnath) 05h26m10s 28°36'N Taurus 1.7 0'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occultations

« Previous Next »
Visible from the Contiguous United States Worldwide Worldwide Visible from the Contiguous United States
08 Nov 2006 31 Jul 2024 Occultations of Beta Tauri (Elnath) 24 Sep 2024 21 Oct 2024
14 Jul 2024 21 Aug 2024 Occultations 05 Sep 2024 17 Sep 2024

The sky on 27 Aug 2024

The sky on 27 August 2024
Sunrise
06:17
Sunset
19:18
Twilight ends
20:45
Twilight begins
04:51

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent

29%

23 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:18 11:53 18:28
Venus 08:06 14:14 20:22
Moon 00:00 07:36 15:15
Mars 00:53 08:00 15:07
Jupiter 00:28 07:32 14:36
Saturn 19:54 01:38 07:22
All times shown in PDT.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

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