01/19/2016 – Ephemeris – The Moon will cover Aldebaran tonight!
Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 19th. The Sun will rise at 8:14. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 5:32. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:51 tomorrow morning. | Tonight the Moon will pass in front of or occult the bright star Aldebaran, the bright star in Taurus the bull. The bright Moon will making spotting Aldebaran difficult without binoculars, or better yet, a telescope. Aldebaran will wink out at the Moon’s dark eastern or left edge around 9:06 p.m. The exact time depends on your location. It’s within a minute or 2 for the IPR listening area. Aldebaran will be uncovered by the Moon around 10:25 p.m. at the bright lower right edge of the Moon. Today’s posting on bobmoler.wordpress,com will have much more information on the event, and how to calculate times for other locations along the path of the occultation (see below). This is the best of the four Aldebaran occultations visible this year.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Estimating timings for your location
I used Cartes du Ciel the free software that I have a link to on the right. Make sure that the program is set for topocentric positions under Setup/Solar System. And you have entered your position under Setup/Observatory. You can find your location in Google Earth.
You can also use Stellarium. Just make sure the Moon is normal sized.
In both programs you can lock the Moon or Aldebaran in the center of the screen Pick a time in advance of the occultation and using the set time window walk the star towards the Moon, mark the time. Then walk the star out from the Moon and record the reappearance time. That’s it.
This should work with other planetarium programs too.