An early evening occultation

On the evening of Saturday February 13 the Moon will occult xi Ceti (also known as 65 Ceti). Yes, it’s another occultation, but this time not involving Aldebaran! At magnitude 4.4 xi is considerably fainter than Aldebaran but with the occultation occurring at a decent altitude this should not be a problem.

From London the occultation starts at 19:28 with the 5 day old Moon at an altitude of 38 degrees in the south-west. Reappearance of xi takes place around 20:15. From Edinburgh disappearance is at 19:16 and reappearance around 20:14. The chart below shows the position of the Moon and xi at 19:15 as seen from Greenwich. Full details of this event are given in the 2016 BAA Handbook. (Page 30).

Just watching stars wink out and wink back on again is fun, but if you would like to make accurate timings do contact the Lunar Section who will be very pleased to help, to let you know the type of information they require and to receive your results.

With the Moon not setting until around midnight on the 13th, you will have plenty of time to enjoy exploring the lunar terminator after the occultation is over. Let’s hope for clear skies.

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