Saturn Occultation

Next week will bring a challenging photo opportunity, with Saturn due to be occulted by the Moon.

Here in Macarthur it will be low in the East and Saturn will reappear from behind the dark limb (six days after full Moon), so the photographic opportunity may not be quite so appealing and I’m not even sure yet if I will try for it this time.

My Eastern outlook is poor and as I am in-between two cataract procedures, I haven’t had the scope out for several weeks.


I took these two images of Saturn and the Moon with my Meade LX-90, following two separate occultations in 2014. The one above was taken 2014-08-04 (a first quarter Moon) and the one below was taken on 2014-05-14 (a near full Moon). On both occasions Saturn reappeared from behind the bright limb of the Moon.

2014-05-14 Saturn & The Moon
2014-05-14 Saturn & the Moon

The upcoming occultation details for Macarthur are:

Date: Thursday 25th April 2019.
Occultation begins below horizon.
Moonrise: 22.03 AET
Occultation ends: 23.26 AET
Altitude at reappearance from dark limb: approx 14°

All images © R.Powell



  1. I found your site via Disperser this week. Look forward to your posts. Nice photos, nice equipment. I have seen several Saturn occultations, going back over the years, primarily doing manual “timeing” in a era when amateur observations were of value to the gathering of such data from diverse locations. One such time, I was out in the wee hours of the moirning when a high school friend of mine was walking across town to my home, closely followed by a local police cruiser – wondering why was this this guy was walking the streets at 3 AM. When we showed the officer what we were seeing, and it was really impressive through my 6″ reflector as Saturn approached the moon, a bond was forged between the suspicious officer and these otherwise questionalble, late night juveniles.
    M 🙂


    1. Nice story, I guess at 3 am the cops had good reason to be suspicious!
      As for planetary occultations by the Moon, they are only really interesting before and after!
      Thanks for your visit.


      1. And …those few precious moments as the planet is occulted, and later re-emerged …was when we wanted everyone to get a look, so jostling views was fast and furious hopefully done without bumping the telescope out of position! M:-)

        Liked by 1 person

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