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Thursday, March 02, 2006


Occultation image

(Click to enlarge image) The occultation of Antares was great!The sky was unfortunately a bit turbulent, but I was clearly able to see the Moon edging towards Antares with the unaided eye, binoculars and my trusty webcam. I've made an overlay of the best images in sequence. One AVI just wouldn't track, so there's a hole in the sequence, I also managed to send the scope off track just before Antares went behind the Moon, and had to do some frantic realingment. But I was successful, and I caught the moment when Antares went behind the Moon. It doesn't show up well in the overlay (Antares is a bit of a streak in the image), but if anyone wants a 14Mb AVI of Antares going behind the Moon, let me know.

I'm a member of an occultation observing group. Occulataion timing of asteroid occultations can reveal the size shape and possibly Moons of an asteroid, so it can be pretty interesting. Until now I've done all my observing by eye. Unfortunately (with the exception of the magnificent occcultation of Jupiter) all the interesting occultations either missed me, or were clouded out. I wanted to see if the Webcam would be a good way to record (reasonably bright) occultations. Unfortunately, there is no good way to timestamp the image, and the files are WAY too big for standard occultation surveillance. But it's good for events like this.

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