THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA
Bulletin No 2
LUNAR OCCULTATIONS SECTION
LUNAR OCCULTATION DISPLAY - 1967 General Assembly
If members of your Centre have been active in the lunar occultation field, please see
that material that could be used for a lunar occultation display at the General Assembly
in Montreal in May is reported to the President of your Centre. Photographs of ob-
servers and observing sites would be appropriate.
SOME TRICKS OP THE TRADE
1. Select a magnifioaticn so that as much of the bright limb of the moon as possible
is beyond the field of your telescope ocular. This is especially desirable if
sky haze is present scattering the light of the moon. Too high a magnification
makes tracking of the star and the moon more difficult.
2. Make sure your telescope has been aflczied to reach the outside air temperature,
otherwise heat tremors fran the instrument will provide spurious occultations
prior to the event,
3. Tour observing site must have an unobstructed view of the moon.
4. In very cold weather, it is easy to fog the eyepiece or eyeglasses - hold your
5. Above all, do not give up. The most frustrating observational field is lunar
occultations for, in that brief fraction of a second when the star disappears
behind the moon' s limb, misfortunes can befafl the observer. I remember the
morning when at the precise moment a star was to disappear, a large moving van
passed within a block of nw observing site and produoed such vibrations at the
telescope the occultation was missed. Cries of a disgruntled observer were
added to the normally tranquil morning air!
HERE AND THERE IN THE FIELD
Montreal - This active Centre has an appropriate Centennial project that of 100
successful timings of occultations during 1967. Despite the clouds in
January and a frozen stopwatch, the group made two successful timings.
With better weather to come, we are certain they will reach their
Edmonton - Four Edmonton observers are making local citizens uneasy! With reports
of UFO's and all, cannon-like machines in members' backyards are most
disturbing. The "cannons", alias telescopes, are trained at the moon
to observe the disappearance of a star behind it. During December, nine
separate timings were made, including three on Christmas Eve. This is
devotion above and beyond the call of duty! In January the clouds took
On February 2, the grazing occultation Of Iota Librae was on their agenda,
Lunar Occultations Section, Bulletin No.2 -2-
scheduled to be observed at a location sane eight miles from the city.
In attempting to record the multiple occultations expected, as the star
passed behind a number of lunar peaks, the Edmonton observers took along
a portable tape recorder, shortwave radio and two telescopes. In
addition, Dr. E.G Cumming of the University of Alberta brought the
Physics Department's strip recorder to permit simultaneous recording of
time signals and occultation events. Needless to say, clear skies
lasted all evening until 5:00 a.m., just minutes prior to the graze!
A little weary - and dejected - these observers are waiting with
enthusiasm for the next graze to pass by Edmonton.
Franklin C. Loehde,
Lunar Occultations Section,
Standing Committee on Observational Activities,
8332 Jasper Avenue,
28 February, 1967. Edmonton, Alta.
Lunar Occultations Section Bulletin No. 2