The Moon Occults Saturn... Almost!

And the clouds occult them both!


Hey, it's the third time within weeks that I have an opportunity to catch the Moon occulting Saturn. The date is February 20, 2002 and my last chance for a few years. And don't you know it? Clouds rule...

All right... I'll accept what I can get! It was pretty much a futile attempt because the sky just wasn't cooperating. You will find the pictures very over-exposed because of the continual clouds...

But I gave it my best shot, eh? ;)

What you see here is the edge of the terminator on the Moon, and Saturn approaching the dark side about 15 minutes before the occultation.

(And you can also see all the clouds I had to contend with!)

Again, a few minutes later the clouds left me a hole... and I was on it.

It keeps inching closer aad closer to the dark side...

And a massive cloud bank is headed this way! With just minutes left to go before it actually goes behind the lunar surface! ARGH!

No, no, NO! Clouds! Please... Pretty pleeeeeeze! Not now!

Down to the final few minutes...

And it's sooooo close!

You see? It really IS Saturn!!

And it's almost ready to be swallowed...

Four minutes left until it's predicted disappearance time...

Three minutes...

And still those clouds keep threatning!

No, NO! Not again!

And so I set the camera down on Saturn in anticipation of watching the rings being slowly eaten by the "Dark Side"...

Right at the predicted time, the leading ring edge flattened...

And the clouds came back. Once and for all. Permanently. (But it was something to see, eh? ;) I guess it was -

"Just one of those days..."


--theAstronomer

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