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Moon Occults Pleiades on April Fool's Day

From Astronomy.com:

An occultation of the Pleiades star cluster (M45) by the Moon will occur during the evening of 2006 APR 01 (Saturday) and will be a nighttime event across the eastern half of North America and northwestern South America.

Since the crescent Moon’s apparent disk will be only 17% illuminated, this will make for a better photographic event than its immediate predecessors in this series. Additionally, the fact that the Moon will be waxing will enhance the ability to observe immersions (disappearances) of individual stars. This should be the finest opportunity for observers in eastern North America during the entire 2005-10 Pleiades occultation series.


The Pleiades are a beautiful cluster of stars that a lot of people think is  the little dipper, since it looks a little bit like it. However, the Pleiades are 2–3 times as long as the moon and not nearly the size of the actual Little Dipper in the sky.

Pleiades 12-18-03

This should be an awesome site, especially if you have some binoculars. Someone in my astronomy club offered up this star occultation for New York (times are in EST):

                        Disappears          Reappears
25 Alcyone          7:54 p.m.             8:55 p.m.
27 Atlas              8:40 p.m.             9:31 p.m.
17 Electra           6:44 p.m.             7:45 p.m.
20 Maia                      No occultation
23 Merope          7:24 p.m.              8:19 p.m.
19 Taygeta                  No occultation
28 Pleione           8:39 p.m.              9:36 p.m.

Watch for it tomorrow night!

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