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Watch the Moon hide naked-eye star Zeta (ζ) Tauri on 19 October

11 Oct 2019, 15:15 UTC
Watch the Moon hide naked-eye star Zeta (ζ) Tauri on 19 October
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Third-magnitude star Zeta (ζ) Tauri is occulted (hidden) by the 19-day-old waning gibbous Moon in the small hours of Saturday, 19 October 2019 as seen from the whole of the British Isles. This illustration shows the changing aspect of the star’s occultation as seen from London and Edinburgh, clearly demonstrating the effect that geographical latitude has on the timing of the event. Note that all times are in British Summer Time (Universal Time + 1 hour). AN graphic by Ade Ashford.When a nearby astronomical body passes between the observer and a more distant object, see say that an occultation (from the Latin occulo, ‘to hide’) is taking place. Since the Moon is our nearest celestial neighbour, it regularly passes in front of planets and stars.
Although none of the four first-magnitude zodiacal stars – Aldebaran in Taurus, Regulus in Leo, Spica in Virgo and Antares in Scorpius – are hidden by the Moon this year, planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all subject to lunar occultation in 2019. (Jupiter is next for the British Isles, occulted by the Moon in daylight on 28 November.)
Fainter stars are clearly more plentiful and the Moon has already occulted many of these ...

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