Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The dance of Jupiter and the Moon

Last night's Occultation of Jupiter by our Moon was a hoot.

Its actually quite deceptive, as due to the rotation of the earth, the moon moves across the sky fairly quickly, but takes some time to catch up with Jupiter, moving about 12 degrees per 24 hours against the back ground stars - half a degree per hour.

Jupiter for the purpose of this exercise is practically stationary, but you can see Jupiter's own moons move over the course of an hour.

An Occcultation occurs when the (our) Moon moves in front of Jupiter - This can happen a number of times in a year depending on where you are located, the last visible from South Australia in the predawn back in Oct 2012.

Last nights occultation resulted in a first touch at 22:56:17 Local (11:56 UT) and was complete at 23:07:48 12:07 UT).

In spite of a few dramas with flat camera batteries needing quick a re-charge and the Moon disappearing behind trees, it was a good result all round. ENJOY!

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