Antares Occultation


In the early morning hours of March 3, 2005, the last-quarter moon occulted, or covered up, the bright star Antares. I had planned a multiple-exposure photo like this one with the first exposure showing the moon covering the star. But for several minutes around the time of the star's reappearance from behind the moon, the only cloud in the sky was positioned right in front of the moon! After a few minutes the cloud had moved out of the way, so I settled for this sequence showing the moon moving away from the star in the minutes after its reappearance. Also leaving multiple images are other stars in the constellation Scorpius: Sigma Scorpii (top) and Tau Scorpii (bottom).

Date: March 3, 2005
Time: 4:25 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. MST
Location: suburban Phoenix, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR on fixed tripod
Film: Fuji Provia 100F slide
Focal length: 200 mm
Aperture: f/4
Exposure time: 5 exposures 5 minutes apart, 2 seconds each
Scanner: Nikon Coolscan LS-2000 (cropped)

Revised: April 3, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Joe Orman
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