Lunar Occultation of Star Monday Evening
December 15, 2012
As the Moon travels across the sky it passes in front of many stars. Most of the time these stars are too faint to be easily seen near a bright Moon. On occasion the Moon will pass in front of bright stars or even the planets in an event that can be followed with the naked eye. This Monday evening the Moon will pass in front of the 4th magnitude star ν (nu) Aquarii.
The occultation will be visible from the central and western states of the United States, as well as northern Mexico and south central and southwestern Canada (see the map below). Though Hawaii is in the path it will be daylight at the time of the time of the occultation. For observers in the eastern US they will only see the Moon approach the star but not pass in front of it before the Moon sets. The image to the right shows the Moon and ν (nu) Aquarii at ~9:10 pm MST from Tucson, Arizona. This is right before the time of disappearance. To get times for the disappearance and reappearance of the star behind the Moon from many different locations, go to the International Occultation Timing Association’s (IOTA) page for this occultation.