Grazing Occultation of Jupiter, from 2:30am July 15, 2012
Early in the morning of July 12, the Moon will partially cover Jupiter. Letchworth is on the northern edge of the zone of visibility; from further north no occultation will be visible, and from further south the planet will be completely hidden by the Moon.
We appear to be in a location lucky enough to see a very rare version of such an event. According to the astronomical program Stellarium, from Letchworth the edge of the Moon will move across the centre of Jupiter, giving the view shown below.
Jupiter rises at 01:49, and is at an altitude of just 8º 39' when the event begins as the rim of the Moon reaches Jupiter's moon Europa. This means that a good view will be required to the horizon to the E-N-E in order to view the event.
From the observatory this direction is towards Letchworth, which would mean that the streetlights would normally make viewing extremely difficult. However, by this date, the programme of street-light upgrades should have covered this area, which means that the street-lights should switch off between midnight and around 5am.
Having said that, the view from the observatory is obscured by buildings and trees, so we will be observing from high up on Therfield Heath, which is to the south-east of Royston. We plan to be on site from about 2:30. You can see the location of the car park in Google Maps by following this link.
Here are the timings for the event.
||Europa ingress begins. That is, the Moon begins to cover Europa.
||The Moon begins to cover Jupiter.
||Europa egress begins.
||Ganymede ingress begins.
||Callisto ingress begins.
||The Moon is clear of Jupiter.
||Ganymede egress begins.
||Callisto egress begins.
Times are BST
Jupiter's moon Io is also visible, but does not become hidden at all.
If you would like to join us to observe this event, please write to events-at-ldas.org.uk (Replace "-at-" with "@")
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