Whale Of A Star Occulted By Tonight’s Half-Moon

Like whale watching? A star called Xi2 (ξ2) Ceti (prounced “zye-two”) in the constellation Cetus the Whale will be occulted tonight (Jan. 24) by the half moon. While not a prominent star (only magnitude 4.3), it’s bright enough to watch disappear behind the moon’s dark limb with the smallest of telescopes and possibly even a…
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Close Conjunctions Make Us Wonder: Do Planets Occult Planets?

If there’s such a thing as a pleasant 18 below zero morning, today was it. Mars and Jupiter mesmerized. The two were so close they looked identical to a double star viewed in a telescope. How fun to just look up and split them with eyes alone. My friend Greg, who lives in northern Wisconsin,…
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Dazzling Diamond Dust! / Aldebaran Disappears Tonight

I was in the middle of making tea this morning when I looked out the window and saw the most amazing diamond dust halo display. Tea would have to wait. I got in the car instead and drove to the nearest opening to get a good look at the rare phenomenon. Ordinary, ice crystals in…
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Don’t Miss Aldebaran’s Penultimate Occultation Sunday Night

Have you taken your Aldebaran-moon pill lately? Better do it soon, the prescription is running out. The series of occultations of the bright star Aldebaran by the moon that began in 2015 will finish up next month at least for U.S. observers. Two remain in 2017: The first occurs during early evening hours Sunday night, November 5th for…
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Occultation Alert: A Dramatic Disappearance And Reappearance Of Regulus

One of the sky’s brightest stars will be blanked out by the waning crescent moon in a dramatic morning occultation this Sunday, Oct. 15. The event happens in a dark sky before and at dawn for all of the U.S. and Central America.  There are only four bright stars that are ever occulted by the…
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