Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Occultation of Delta1 Tauri by the Last Quarter Moon (23 February 2018)
The inset shows the Moon at 23:21 ACDST, when the Moon is about to cover 𝛅1 Tauri. Timings for major cities are listed in the table below.
For many locations in Australia the First Quarter Moon occults the close pair of stars 𝛅1 and 𝛅2 Tauri in the Hyades star cluster. These are reasonably bright stars, readily visible to the unaided eye, but the occulation is close to the horizon. As the darf edge of the Moon covers the stars you should see them abruptly wink out.
Even if you do not have a clear horizon watching the Moon drift towards the pair of 𝛅1 and 𝛅2 Tauri in the beautiful Hyades cluster will be fascinating.
For many locations, especially on the east coast and central states you will need a flat clear horizon to see the occulation (example horizon views are shown below). This will mean that most telescopic observation will not be possible due to the low angle of elevation, and the dimming of the stars close to the horizon means the occultation may be best viewed with binoculars.
Timings for major cities
|City||Time 𝛅1 Tauri covered||Moon set|
|Adelaide (ACDST)||23:58||00:41 (24th)|
|Brisbane||- (no occulation)||-|
|Canberra (AEDST)||00:10 (24th)||00:27 (24th)|
|Darwin||- (no occulation)||-|
|Hobart (AEDST)||23:53||00:27 (24th)|
|Melbourne (AEDST)||00:01 (24th)||00:40 (24th)|
|Perth AWST||21:40||00:40 (24th)|
|Sydney AEDST||00:16 (24th)||00:22 (24th)|