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Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Daylight Occulation of Saturn, morning May 23, 2019

Map of the Occultation path of the Moon and Saturn. The occultaion id on the 22nd UT, which is the morning of the 23rd in Australia after sunrise.The Moon at 8:40 am ACST in Adelaide on Thursday 23 May just as Saturn disappears behind the Moon. The insets shows the binocular view of Saturn going behind the Moon (left) and emerging from behind the Moon at 9:40 am (right)

On the morning of Thursday 23 May Saturn is occulted by the waning Moon as seen from most of Australia (see table below for exact timings). This is a daytime occultation, which will require telescopes. Although the Moon will be in the west, well away from the Sun, it would be best for experienced amateurs only to attempt this so no accidental sun exposure is possible.

As well, even though Saturn will be visible in telescopes, it will be very pale and difficult to see.

The Moon, low above the western horizon, is a very obvious signpost for where to look with Saturn close to the bright Limd. You may need some patience to see Saturn pale against the brightness of the Sky. For Brisbane,  Townsville, Rockhampton and Sydney the Moon sets before the occultation ends. 

Start watching about half an hour beforehand to get set up and familiar with the sky. Saturn will pale close to the bright limb of the Moon. Reappearance will be hard to see as you have to be looking just at the right moment and the Moon is closer to the horizon.

PlaceDisappears Bright Limb Reappears Dark Limb
Adelaide ACST8:409:40
Brisbane AEST9:21-
Canberra AEST9:1110:07
Darwin ACST--
Hobart AEST9:029:56
Melbourne AEST9:0810:05
Perth AWST7:218:00
Rockhampton AEST9:37-
Townsville AEST9:27-
Sydney AEST9:13-

More cities in Australia and also New Zealand can be found at the IOTA site (UT times only).

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