The Occultation of Saturn


Every once in a while whilst on its travels the moon passes across the star along the ecliptic. Sometimes in its travels it actually passes over the planets which travel in the same region.

Whilst most of these 'Occultations' occur in the UK only when it is cloudy, occasionally we get lucky. The last such opportunity I had was the 16th of April 2002. This evening had the Moon passing over Saturn. Unfortunately for me it is not actually visible from my garden, but I did manage a series of small, and to be honest not very good images taken with a video camera, and telephoto lens.

The actual camera was a Stellacam, and I used a 500mm zoom lens, and 2x converter on a stationary tripod. Unfortunately for me to see this from home I had to point the camera through the frame gap of a double glazed window two storeys up, between TV aerials on the chimney over the road, and also have to move it a couple of times.

That aside below are s series of images of Saturn disappearing behind the dark limb of the moon. They are quite spectacular events, so if you get a chance to view one, make a point of having a look.

If viewed through even a small telescope it is quite amazing seeing the rings just starting to disappear, and then finally go completely. Unfortunately I was not in a position to witness the reappearance on this occasion.


Lunar Imaging with a Sony digital Camera

Lunar Imaging with an Astrovid 2000 video camera

Lunar imaging with a Basler digital Camera


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