Observation by Peter Anderson: Lunar Occultation from Luxor, Egypt

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Peter Anderson


Peter Anderson


2006 Apr 03 - 17:46


2021 Oct 06 - 07:56


The Moon

  • Canon 300D DSLR 90-300mm Zoom at 300mm F7.1

1/8 second at 1600 ISO


Luxor, Egypt

Target name

Beta Tauri and Moon Occultation


Lunar Occultation from Luxor, Egypt

About this image

I was an organiser of the total solar eclipse trip sponsored by the Astronomical Association of Queensland to observe the 29th March 2006 eclipse from the Libyan desert. This eclipse was seen under perfect conditions.   The trip included a tour of Egypt following the eclipse.

In trawling through old images for a family book my wife and I are writing, I came across a photo of the lunar occultation of Beta Tauri (mag 1.65) by a thick crescent Moon, taken from Luxor, Egypt on the evening of 3rd April during our tour. A check using the ‘Stellarium’ program shows that the event occurred close to 7.30pm local time (GMT + 2 hours.) (Converting the time on my camera I arrive at 7.46pm for this image - but I cannot guarantee its accuracy.)

Because Beta Tauri is bright, its approach to the Moon was obvious and alerted us to the possible forthcoming occultation. But from the angle of approach it seemed that it would be nearly grazing so an event was by no means certain.  The circumstances and event can be ‘replayed’ using ‘Stellarium’.  The occultation did take place and just before I took this photo with the same telephoto, a 90-300mm zoom, that I had used for the total solar eclipse. (Okay, for the smarties, another eclipse of a star by the Moon, only this one was much further distant.) The longer exposure was made to record the lunar ‘Earthshine’ and the sunlit part of the disc is therefore over-exposed and featureless.  The image was quite small but has been enlarged and 'tidied up'. 

I include this image as a long time lunar occultations nerd (since 1976) having recently completed my 10,000th timing.

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