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Rare Moon Occultation to Happen on Wednesday -- What You Need to Know

Oct 19, 2016 05:11 AM EDT
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The moon will photobomb a star during an event called occultation.
(Photo : Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Photobomb! The moon is set to pass across the Aldebaran star and photobomb its glory. The moon will occult or pass by and photobomb Aldebaran this Tuesday until Wednesday.

The occultation will be visible across North America, North Atlantic, and Europe; the gibbous moon at 86 percent luminance will pass right across the +0.9 magnitude Aldebaran star. This will happen three days after the full moon. Stargazers who which to see the occultation should look 136 degrees to the west of the Sun.

The next occultation will occur on 2033, according to a report. So for those who want to see the moon photobomb a star will need to wait for it on this Tuesday until Wednesday. One particular thing to look out for is the graze line, where Aldebaran will cast a moon shadow. The stargazers along the line will have the most spectacular view of the occultation.

Read: Orionid Meteor Shower to Peak on Oct. 20 to 21 -- Here's What You Need to Know

Also, it is a good time to marvel at the edges of the moon; believed to be smooth but it is, in fact, jagged. The craters and rim of the moon's surface will determine the movement of the shadow causing a disruption in the shadow as the light peaks behind the gullies and rims. This is what stargazers are waiting for and it also makes for a good video material.

This is also a great opportunity to profile the moon. Interestingly, the light from the star Alebaran took about 65 years to get to the planet and yet, the moon will have to share the limelight by blocking the stars view from the Earth, according to a report.

For people around the world who are interested in viewing the occultation and the exact moment that it will be visible in their location can view the International Occultation Timing Association who dedicated a page for calculating the time and path of the occultation.

Experts say observing an occultation is a fun activity. It can be done with the use of a telescope or a binocular. However, since the brightness of the moon and the star are involved getting the correct exposure is vital in observing the said phenomenon.


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