Moon and Saturn Occultation

June 25, 2007


Provided by: Pete Lawrence
Summary authors & editors: Pete Lawrence

The photo sequence shows an occultation of the Moon by Saturn, which occurred on March 2, 2007. Maximum coverage in the U.K. (Selsey, West Sussex), where the photo was captured, was at 02 hours, 52 minutes (Universal Time). The interval positions shown are separated by 90 seconds in time. The difference in brightness of the Moon compared to Saturn was huge at the time, and in order to get both objects imaged simultaneously, one must suffer. In this case, I imaged correctly for Saturn which meant that the Moon's limb was burnt out. A number of shots were taken at 30s intervals (10s movie captures at 60fps, fixed on Saturn) which gave me the positional information I needed to build the composite you see here. The image of Saturn was captured just before the occultation, and the lunar limb just after (this is a three frame mosaic). South is up in the image, and the Moon would be moving towards the upper right.

All components of the composite were taken with a Celestron C-14 at prime focus (f/11) using a Lumenera SKYnyx 2-0 camera (basically an industrial strength webcam capable of 60 frames per second, or more, uncompressed).

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