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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Location: Astronomy centre, Low Dalby
Grazing Occultation of Neptune- Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Early this evening The UK has a comparatively rare opportunity to image, or simply observe, the remote planet Neptune close to the southern limb of the moon if you live in the south and east of the country. North and west UK observers enjoy a full occultation. The most interesting place to be is on the graze line, which crosses the country from SW to NE, from north Cornwall and north Devon, via south Wales to Stoke on Trent. From there the graze line heads towards Whitby on the North Sea coast, via Barnsley and York. In the grazing zone you may expect to see the planet dim and blink out several times as it is successively hidden and then reappears behind mountains on the moon's dark southern limb. After leaving England, the graze line continues towards the NE following the coastline of Norway. I have produced a graphic showing the graze line, crossing the country, and another showing the position of the m(v) +7.9 planet in relation to the gibbous waxing moon's dark limb at the time. These graphics may be seen in the most recent issue of "Popular Astronomy" or can be accessed from the Occultation Section's website, via:

http://www.popastro.com/sections/occ.htm

Or directly at:

http://asteroccuk.x10hosting.com/lunarocc.htm

Approximate times (UT) of the grazing event for various UK places on the line are as follows, but remember it is always a good idea to set up and locate Neptune 15 minutes or more before the predicted times of the event:

Lizard point: 18h 44, Barnstaple: 18h 46, Lynmouth: 18h 48, St Brides (S.Wales coast):18h 49, Brecon: 18h 50, Stoke on Trent: 18h 51, Barnsley: 18h 52, York: 18h 53, Whitby: 18h 54.

The approximate altitude and azimuth of the event is around: 22° & 183°, and the moon's age: 8.8 days

The next UK lunar occultation of Neptune is in just under 8 years time , on June 25, 2016 at around 23h 55m UT.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:17 am 
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Location: Ulverston, Cumbria
This might be a good opportunity for me to observe Neptune for the first time in my life. Let's just hope that there aren't too many clouds around.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:21 am 
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Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
The forecast indicates that easterly winds will
bring just about complete cloud cover for all
of us.
:cry:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:37 am 
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Location: Greenwich, London
I'm afraid I'm having problems with the link, Jon - and your site.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:13 am 
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Location: Astronomy centre, Low Dalby
Hi Joe
Sorry about that --- it seems to be broken 1---- Go to the first address given, the one to the SPA Occultation Section (that's OK, I just tested it.) Then click on the first item in the list that comes up ( Occultations of bright stars) Then click on Neptune!
Once again apologies for that problem and thanks for pointing it out.
take care,
Jon

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:27 am 
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Hi everyone --- the problem with the link to my site seems to be the full stop at the end of the URL --- It shouldn't be there !
so try this:
http://asteroccuk.x10hosting.com/lunarocc.htm

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:44 am 
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Location: Greenwich, London
Thanks Jon. All good now. (Removed the offending . in your initial post)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:56 am 
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Thank you Joe---- much appreciated!

Hope Stella's prediction re. the weather is wrong --- but there's a certain law that always comes into play........ as we all know! -hahahaha

Ah well ---- the Venus occultation on December 1st will be a stunning affair - and, we live in hope for that ---- and hey, its visible in Paris too !!!!!
Jon

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:01 am 
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Location: Derby/Burton upon Trent
Ah well

2016 will soon be here!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:53 am 
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Location: Bruges (just over Channel)
I had last evening some gaps in the fast moving low clouds, so sometimes the Moon was out there. For my location there was no occultation, only a close conjunction. Quickly settled the telescope, but I could not detect any star next to the Half Moon :? . I think it was difficult to see an only mag 7.9 star next to the much glaring moon. So for me it was a negative observation. Anyone more success?

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Thanks to the clear cold nights...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:50 am 
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Looks as though the weather resulted in a total washout for this event. Incidentally, because Neptune was at m(v) 7.9 , it is always important to use high power, i.e. a short focal length eyepiece, in a small telescope, so that no part of the illuminated portion of the moon gets into the field of view. In this way, the planet would have been relatively easy to spot. Similarly, in observing the two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, it is usual to use an occulting bar to hide the much brighter planet so the these 11th and 12th magnitude objects may be imaged.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:45 pm 
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Location: Macclesfield Cheshire
I made this comment in the post about the Taurid meteor shower.

When ever there's a celestial event, be it Meteor shower or Occultation, Eclipse etc. It's always cloudy.

I've forgotten what it's like to see a meteor shower. Let us hope for better weather conditions on December 1st when Venus is occulted.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Yes, the 'law of Cosmic cussedness' states that if
an astronomical phenomenon occurs on a specific
night, then that night will be cloudy, but the nights
preceding and following have a high probability of
being clear. So tonight could be mainly clear?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:07 pm 
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Yes Stella --- and indeed it is here so far! Nicely in time for our Public Observing Night at Low Dalby ---- SHHHHHHHHHHH ! ( in case the weather hears !!!.... ) lol
Jon

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