Aeromoe's Version of Joe Orman's Naked-Eye 100 List

Number 60: Lunar Occultations: Stellar

04 March 2017 (05 March U.T.)

I'd been anticipating a naked-eye stellar occultation in general since starting this list in 2010 and this event in particular since reading about it in Sky & Telescope a couple months ago. Weather forecast for Saturday evening 4 March 2017 was partly cloudy so I was cautiously optimistic.

I set up my camera/tripod in the backyard shortly after dark when I was sure the sky wasn't totally clouded over in the vicinity of the moon. There were high clouds that were definitely reducing the overall sky contrast but I was giving it a go anyway.

As the time for occultation grew close I was having some difficulty continuously maintaining Aldeberan in sight due to the extreme glare caused by the high clouds. I was also trying to keep an occasional eye on my camera flip screen to ensure Aldeberan hadn't blinked out yet. One moment I looked down at the monitor was at the exact moment Aldeberan disappeared behind the eastern limb of the moon. That was it.

I am counting this event as a success because I had found a "sweet spot" in my vision thus keeping an eye on Aldeberan right up to the very last moments before occultation occured. Even though I witnessed it on the camera screen I was watching it right up to that moment.

Below is my photo of the nearly first quarter moon with Aldeberan in the upper left about 15 minutes before occultation, which was predicted to occur at 8:20pm MST.