Moon Will Make a Star Vanish on Tuesday Night

Don't fear: It's just an 'occultation'
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2016 11:50 AM CDT
Moon Will Make a Star Vanish on Tuesday Night
A view of planet Venus eclipsed by a thin crescent moon seen in this file photo.   (AP Photos/Rafiq Maqbool)

Sky watchers will get a bit of a show Tuesday night: People across the Eastern US and much of the Southwest will be able to see the moon move in front of Aldebaran, one of the brightest stars in the night sky, a phenomenon known as a lunar occultation, reports USA Today. Most in the viewing zone will see a "total occultation," in which the star disappears behind the moon. But the real treat comes for residents in certain areas of LA and Denver, who will be able to witness a "grazing occultation," where the star moves along the very periphery of the moon.

Those with high-powered telescopes (or perhaps a nice pair of binoculars) should be able to see the star move in and out of view as mountain ranges and craters on the moon rise and fall. In the West, Aldebaran will disappear shortly after 10pm PDT, per In the Eastern US, it will happen between 1am and 2am EDT. Astronomy site Sky and Telescope has the nitty-gritty on when and where to look. (More astronomy stories.)

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