Occultations of Stars by the Moon
This movie of the
September 12, 1998 occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon
was taken at
UPenn's Flower and Cook Observatory.
Click on image to start movie.
Science from Lunar Occultations
The reason that the star gets brighter just before it disappears is that
the light is diffracted around the edge of the almost atmosphereless moon.
These graphs of the light from the disappearance and reappearance of other
stars being occulted by the Moon are plotted with a solid line showing a
modelled Fresnel diffraction curve. Note that each graph covers 1
second of time, increasing from right to left. This data was taken
in 1980 on the
60-inch Wyeth Reflector
Oak Ridge O
and appeared in
two 1981 papers on the occultations of stars in the Hyades star cluster
by Deane Peterson, and colleagues. Note the occultation of a faint
companion to the star on the left after the main star.
For answers to your questions about occultations, contact
Jessica Mink. If you are interested
in observing lunar occultations, check out the
Timing Association Web site.