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stormchaser1

Neptune And The First Quarter Moon

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***************************NEPTUNES GRAZE***************************

Neptune and the first quarter moon have a very close encounter on the early evening of 6 November. Depending on where you live you will see an Occulation, a graze or a very close encounter. Possibly the most interesting place from which to view this pectacle will be on the graze line which bisects the UK from the south west to the north east, travelling from north cornwall, via south wales to stoke- on- trent. From there the graze line heads towards whitley bay on the north sea coast, via Yok. Observers north and west of the line will see an occulation whilst those to the south and east will merely see Neptune close to the Moons southern Limb

Neptune is located in the northern capricornus and only climbs 24 degrees above the horizon

at best. Luckily this event occurs close to the planets culmination at around 1840pm GMT but a good southern horizon will be needed. Neptunes tiny, blusish disc can be discerned in a 100mm telescope at x150 so beginners can enjoy this event and as with all thee types of events its wise to start observing well before the predicted timinigs. Observers on the graze line using large binoculars should see neptune flicker fopr about three or four minutes as it grazes the southern lunar dark limb. Views through moderate to large telescopes shoulkd be spectactular. Rough timings are 1846hrs- 1850hrs for Barnstaple in Devon, and 1852 to 1855hrs in York

Viewing the occulation will fascinating too, watching the dark limb of the moon creep ever closer to obliterating Neptune. Edninburgh observers will witness Neptunes dissappearance at 1837hrs with Mancunians waiting until 1845hrs. One added dimension for owners of telescopes in the 400mm class is the chance to see Neptunes moon Triton dissappear a couple of minutes before, On 6 November Trition lies aropund 11 arcseconds North west of Neptune so it will be very tricky to spot and Neptunes low alitude will dim the magnitude +13.6 moon further

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