NASA has announced that it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Professor…
In July 10 Tuesday the moon will cross in front of the bright star Aldebaran in an occultation that we can’t be witnessed again until 2033. It is already a few years since the moon has been crossing paths with one of the brightest stars in the sky, causing a stellar eclipse, or occultation. So, on the specified date, before sunrise, the very last of these in the current series for North Americans will take place.
If you have opportunity to see the moon actually occult, or eclipse, Aldebaran, then don’t miss it to enjoy it. One of the most exciting views will be along the southern limit of the occultation. According to David Dunham of the International Occultation Timingers Association (IOTA), “All occultation observers should see at least one such grazing occultation, just for their dynamic beauty; observations of them are less valuable now with such precise data available from space missions for both the moon and stars.”
The main problem of watching the event will be the very low altitude of both the moon and the star in the regions where the occultation will be visible.
As mentions space.com [The southern-limit Aldebaran graze on July 10 will start at moonrise at Dows, Iowa, at 3:36 a.m. CDT. Multiple events where the star disappears and reappears along the lunar limb can last as long as 4 minutes centered on that time, depending on the location.
Not until 2023 will the moon hide a star of the first magnitude for North America (the star Antares), and not until 2033 will there be another passage of the moon in front of Aldebaran — the brightest star other than the sun that the moon can ever cover].
In the North America, this will be a very close approach of the moon to Aldebaran (called a conjunction).