[AZ-Observing] Transit and Occultation During Eclipse

  • From: Tom Polakis <tpolakis@xxxxxxx>
  • To: AZ-Observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2015 17:09:42 -0400

CalSky shows that the International Space Station will be passing in front of
the eclipsed moon on Saturday morning, and the path passes over the Valley. In
order to see the transit, you will need to be within about a mile of a line
that passes from roughly 59th Ave and Bell Rd through Gilbert Rd. and Chandler
Blvd. The transit times associated with those two intersections are 4:30:00
and 4:30:07; yep, 7 seconds to cover that distance.

Since the exposure time required to freeze the Space Station is on the order of
1/2000 sec., and the time to show the eclipsed moon is 1/2 second, this is not
a photographable event. Still, it should be possible to see the silhouette
visually.

The more interesting event is the occultation of the elliptical galaxy NGC
4697, which occurs during totality. My planetarium software shows it
disappearing at 3:50, and reappearing nearly an hour later. The egress should
be more easily visible since the moon will be nearly totally eclipsed at that
time.

And yes, I am proud of that Subject line.

Tom
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