Occultation of Sigma Scorpii, morning, April 27, 2024

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North-west morning
sky on Saturday, April 27 as seen from Adelaide at 02:01 ACST. The Moon
is just about to cover (occult) the bright star Sigma Scorpii. The inset shows the moon at 3:32 ACST as the moon moves off Sigma Scorpii. Click to embiggen
North-west morning
sky on Saturday, April 27 as seen from Melbourne at 02:48 AEST. The Moon
is just about to cover (occult) the bright star Sigma Scorpii.The inset shows the moon at 4:15 AEST as the moon moves off Sigma Scorpii. Click to embiggen
North-east evening
sky on Friday, April 26 as seen from Perth at 23:49 AWST. The Moon
is just about to cover (occult) the bright star Sigma Scorpii. The inset shows the moon at 1:06 AWST on the 27th as the moon moves off Sigma Scorpii. Click to embiggen

On the morning of Saturday,  April 27, the bright star Sigma Scorpii (Alniyat) in the head of the Scorpion is occulted by the Moon. Sigma Scorpii is one of the two bright stars flanking the bright red star Antares.

The occultation occurs with the Moon high above the north-western horizon at the start for the eastern and central states. Perth sees the occultation start just before midnight above the north eastern horizon. Darwin misses out although Sigma Scorpii will be seen very near to the Moon. Disappearance and appearance times are given in the table below. Other locations will see the occultation at a similar time for cities at a similar latitude.

While the occultation is visible to the unaided eye, the sight will be better in binoculars or a small telescope. Set up ahead of time so that you can be sure everything is working well and you can watch the entire event comfortably. Sigma Scorpii will be clearly visible to the unaided eye near the Moon.

To the east, Saturn will rise while the occultation is ongoing, followed by Mars. Around dawn the lineup Of Saturn, Mars and Mercury will be seen.

Place Disappears Bright Limb  Reappears Dark Limb  Astronomical Twilight
Adelaide ACST 02:01 03:32 05:23
Brisbane AEST 03:12 04:27 04:52
Canberra AEST 02:55 04:24 05:11
Darwin ACST –  05:41
Hobart AEST 02:58 04:15 04:51
Melbourne AEST 02:48 04:15 05:29
Perth AWST 23:49 (26th) 01:06 05:23
Sydney AEST 03:01 04:28 05:03

Labels: binocular, Moon, Occultation, star, unaided eye

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