Dec 10

Lunar Occultation (Almost) of Mars

Well, kids, as the title says it was “almost” a spectacular event.  A lunar occultation of a planetary body (say that 5 times really fast to your teacher!).  We’re located about 500 miles south of the viewing region.  So we couldn’t actually see Mars pass behind the moon, it kind of went to the side of it.  Not only that, but the viewing conditions were rather deplorable.  And it wasn’t due to clouds, either.  It was because of the transparency and seeing conditions.  [Remember, if you see a big word and you don’t know what it means, click on the hyperlink.  It’ll take you to the definition on the glossary page.  Then when you’ve learned all about it, you can hit the ‘back’ button and return to this page and pick up where you left off.]

Despite the suboptimal viewing conditions, it was not cloudy, therefore, I was still able to take some pictures.  I wasn’t, however, able to get good results after processing due to the atmospheric distortion.  That could also be a result of my present astrophoto-processing skill level.  I’ll have to revisit my footage some day when I’ve learned a little more just to make sure I’ve gotten everything I can out it.  But for now, the following images will have to do.

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