September 5th, 2015
If you live in the United Kingdom, you have the rare opportunity to observe one of astronomy’s best magic tricks – the disappearance of Aldebaran by the Moon. Called an occultation, this event happens when one celestial object (for example, the Moon or a planet) moves over another (usually a planet or a bright star) and thereby hides it from view.
(The word “occult” is Latin and means to conceal.)
This doesn’t happen very often (I’ve never seen Aldebaran occulted myself) so I encourage you to cross it off your astronomical bucket list. The bad news is that you’ll need to get up early (around 5:30 a.m.) but, on the plus side, it’s a Sunday and both Venus and Mars should also be visible on the eastern horizon.
If you live in the eastern United States you might also get lucky but, depending upon your location, the star may already be covered by the time the Moon rises.
Timing is everything and the start, end and duration of the event will greatly depend upon your location. To see a full list of locations, complete with times, from Europe to Canada and the United States, visit the International Occultation Timing Associations webpage here.
Good luck and clear skies to you!
All Astronomical Events for September 5th 2015
04:48 UT – The almost last quarter gibbous Moon passes Aldebaran. (Naked eye, Taurus, pre-dawn sky.)
09:54 UT – Last Quarter Moon. (Naked eye, Taurus, pre-dawn sky.)
Mars leaves Cancer and enters Leo. (98% illuminated, magnitude 1.8, diameter 3.8”. Naked eye, pre-dawn sky.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
2015: An Astronomical Year
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