Moon Occults Star 111 Tauri


The waxing crescent Moon passes in front of the 5th-magnitude star 111 Tauri in the early morning hours of March 26, 2015. The occultation is visible in most of North America except for the east coast and the extreme southern United States.

During this event, the star will first pass behind the Moon’s unlit limb, so it will seem to “disappear” into blackness. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, it moves eastward at a rate of about half a degree per hour relative to the star. So 111 Tauri will appear to emerge from the lit side of the Moon many minutes after it first disappears.

The timing and length of the occultation depend on the observer’s location. The occultation begins near 5:00 Universal Time (UT). In Denver, for example, the occultation begins at 05:31 UT as the star disappears behind the unlit part of the Moon, then re-emerges from behind the lit side of the Moon at 5:57 UT. In Seattle, the occultation runs from 05:06 UT to 05:45 UT. In much of the midwestern United States and through Ontario and Quebec, the Moon will set before the occultation ends.

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