Saturday, June 25, 2011

Occultation of Venus by the Moon: June 30, 2011

Although 2011 is somewhat of a bad year for occultation viewing, Venus will still be occulted. But don't get your hope up! People here in America won't be able to see it, like the eclipses occurring now. On June 30, 2011 there is an occultation of Venus (respectively by the moon) at 0735 UT (actually 07:34:47; but who's counting!). Information is given to us below by The Transits Page: "This is first of totally three occultations for the year, and is also a central one. It will be observable before sunrise in western Africa." The basic information for occultation is listed below. Below that is an image which states other occultations in 2011 [also from the Transits Page].

Greatest Occultation = 2011-Jun-30 07:34:47 TT
                             Occulted Planet = Venus
                          Occultation Series = 7092
                                      Member = 1 of 1
                         Elongation from Sun = 13° W
                   Moon illuminated fraction = 1 %
                             Lunar Magnitude = -5.2
                         Planetary Magnitude = -3.9
                                       Gamma = +0.08997
                               Gr. Longitude =  53° 45.5' E
                                Gr. Latitude =  28° 24.9' N
                                Gr. Duration = 110m 12.0s
                                          ΔT = 66.54s 
The moon's crescent will be narrow (mind you - the moon is almost new and is almost ready to go into eclipse state) so, the occultation will be partially hard to view; at least the Mediterranean world will notice. Although this happens before the moon rises, (all of) Europe will be able to see a conjunction of Venus and the Moon later, after sunrise.

About the eclipse again, if you photograph this event, be careful. The moon is ready to eclipse THE NEXT DAY (July 1), which means that it's close to the sun. If you are not careful, you may be blinded by the sun's rays. On another note, to finish up, what is an occultation? An occultation is simply stated: an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when one body blocks another body from view during a period of time. Therefore, you could consider solar eclipses as 'occultations'...

Come to this link, if you have photos and upload them. They are welcome to that thread.  Below is a visibility map from the Transits Page. Have a great viewing!

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