The first in a series of 11, the Lunar Occultation of Jupiter on 9 November 2004, occurred at about 16:10UT (11:10am ET). In College Park, MD, this was shortly before noon. The moon was about 3 days before new. And it was partly cloudy. Finding the moon was not easy. Fortunately, the 14" sct is on an AP1200 mount. Once I saw where it was pointing, I was able to point a 7" AP refractor at the moon as well. Although fairly clear except for the cottonball clouds, there was a light breeze so the seeing was terrible. Focussing for observing is one thing, but focussing on the moon during the day through a camera viewfinder is another. As the moon approached Jupiter, clouds encroached on the view. I managed to see the moon starting to occult Jupiter, but then clouds intervened. The next sucker hole showed that Jupiter was completely behind the moon. As the hour passed, clouds came and went. When it was time for Jupiter to reappear, there was of course a cloud in the way. By the time it cleared out, the occultation was over.


This moment was surprisingly clear, but it didn't last long!

Image details:
Telescope: Astro-Physics 178mm (7") f/9 refractor
Camera: Canon D30 (ISO 100 equivalent) at primefocus
Exposure: 1/750s
Comments: processed in Photoshop (images rotated, cropped, duplicated. Duplicates gaussian blurred, reduced brightness and contrast, then applied (subtracted) to originals. Increased brightness and contrast, reduced image size for web.)