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Watch the crescent Moon graze a double star at dawn on 27 August

26 Aug 2019, 10:25 UTC
Watch the crescent Moon graze a double star at dawn on 27 August
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Will you see it or won’t you? This looping animation shows that the occultation of magnitude +3.5 double star delta (δ) Geminorum (aka ‘Wasat’) at dawn on Tuesday, 27 August 2019 is only visible from parts of the UK (for the extent of visibility, see the map below). Those observers fortunate enough to lie on the so-called graze line can watch Wasat appear to flicker on and off as it is alternately visible in lunar polar valleys and hidden by adjacent peaks as the Moon drifts by. AN animation by Ade Ashford.Mere days after the Moon’s close encounter with three stars in the constellation of Taurus, the waning lunar crescent has another dawn rendezvous with a naked-eye star – this time it’s delta (δ) Geminorum, otherwise known as Wasat in the constellation of Gemini, on Tuesday, 27 August.
The exciting thing about this particular occultation – when a nearby celestial body passes between the observer and a more distant object, from the Latin occulo, ‘to hide’ – is that not all observers in the British Isles will see it: those south of the line drawn between Swansea Bay on the southern coast of Wales and The Wash on the Norfolk/Lincolnshire ...

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