Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Moon's Occultation of the Pleiades

Lunar Occultation of the Pleaides June 30, 2008

Mentioning the word conjunction to me gets me excited, mention the word occultation and I go into a frenzy, and that's what happened here in Saskatchewan at 1:50 am June 30, 2008. The crescent Moon complete with earthshine covered two of the Pleiades stars, Atlas and Pleione, doesn't get much better then that.

By the time the Moon rose here in Western Canada the occultation was to be over, some astronomy sites had the exact times when the Moon would be occulting every star in the Pleiades for Eastern North America, but nothing for Western Canada.


Lunar Conjunction of the Pleiades June 30, 2008

You can see from the above image the two stars now uncovered that were once occulted by the Moon. Pictures and words just don't do it justice, I wish I had you all here at that time, sure it was at two in the morning but the busy quiteness of the early morning sky was just too beautiful to keep to myself. It was kind of odd, the brownish crescent Moon with the Pleiades looked surrealistic, as I stood out there all alone with my sky chart, like a treasure map, I felt so lucky, like gazing on a found treasure for the first time.


I took lots of images to pass along the event to you. Below is a clip I put together of 54 images over 10 minutes actual time of the Moon Pleiades Rise. If you look closely you'll see Atlas being uncovered near the end of the video clip, look to the bottom right of the Moon.

39 comments:

Marvin the Martian said...

Beautiful! I spend a lot more time looking at the moon, instead of what it's occulting. But your pix are lovely. I like the time-lapse too - how do you put that together?

The Supplicant said...

I can imagine you standing there at 2 in the morning in a self contained frenzy of pure excitement LOL.

Love the shots Bob ... they're great.... and your time lapse photography is really good and interesting as well. Very well done my friend.
~JD

Drowsey Monkey said...

Hey big fella ... "conjunction occultation" wink wink

Will said...

Nice shot and an amazing amount of moonshine!

Right now we have all sorts of weird views of the sky with all the smoke drifting north into Oregon from the California fires. Sometimes 5 pm looks more like midnight with a huge orange full moon in the sky. Except the"moon" is the sun!

Almost a new moon now, but if it was full, I bet it would be spectacular rising through the smoke.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey marvin, I used a program in Vista that allows you to stitch individual images together to produce a clip, quite a neat program.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, it was really very exciting, well worth the staying up all night.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, wink, wink.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will, smoke really does wonders for the Sun and Moon, one of my favorite shots was a Sunset behind smoke, looked like an icecream cone.\m/\m/

Sherer said...

Hey Bob, The pictures are so good i forget how good a writer you are! I really appreciate these pictures - and I am not just saying that because - 1. I am a postive guy - 2. People generally post comments on blogs that are "nice"

Truth is I really love astronomy and what your doing. Thanks again Bob \0/

Swubird said...

Bob:

Very cool, and very cool video. At first I thought something was wrong because the stars moved to the upper right along with the moon, but then towards the end I saw the Atlas emerge from the bottom right of the moon. Super!

Happy stargazing.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, thanks very much Jesse, you are too kind. \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, wasn't that too cool? Right place at the right time to get it on an image.\m/\m/

kml said...

Great photo,Bob - the stars seem too be dancing with the moon! It's beautiful!

maeleigh1978 said...

I love to come here and look at your pictures!! They're just so beautiful!! Not to mention all I've managed to learn about space! As always, the pictures are awesome!

Carole said...

wonderful stuff.

please take a look at my blog 3rd July as you are mentioned there.

Thanks for your support

Roger said...

Wow you have outdone your self!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, excellent way to put it, they do seem to be dancing.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey maeleigh1978 thanks, glad you like the images, always fun to capture occultations and other celestial gatherings.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Roger thanks, these are some of my favs for sure.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, thanks Carole and thanks for the cool award, much appreciated.

Hope said...

I'm going to go look up occultation right now...lol. Bob i never am anything but surprised at the depth of your knowledge- moreover the love you have of the sky that shines through in your posts...

Genie said...

I wanted to see this event so very much but I live in Texas and didn't get to. Thanks for posting your clip, that was awesome!

Priyank said...

:P I looked at the pictures and exclaimed - wow! earthshine (learnt that word few days back from your blog). You literally keep track of the whole sky.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Hope thanks very much, I hope it does come through, and am glad when it does, thanks again.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey priyank, there is always something going on if you consider the whole rather then the part of the sky, it's beauty always amazes me. \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

You're welcome genie, glad you were able to see it through my images,cool.\m/

rv dealers said...

amazing amount of moonshine is always good to see. By the way moonshine has great effect on human being. (not me researchers think that)

Ruth said...

These photos are INCREDIBLE! So clear, even when small. I just can't believe your skill.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey rv dealers tell me more, never heard of that.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Ruth thanks so much, you should have seen it in person, it was unbelievable.\m/

Texas Travelers said...

Nice post.

I forgot to mention, I've only done 1 astronomy post and it was about the Moon.

http://troyandmartha.blogspot.com/search/label/Moon

Troy

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks again Troy, have to check it out.\m/\m/

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