PLANETARY OCCULTATIONS : Part 8
PLANETARY OCCULTATIONS by STARS
By Andrew James
IOTA (International Occultation and Timing Centre) has made a useful world-wide table of Stellar Occultations by Planets (and their moons) ; Predictions
The following bright example of predictions have been made for future reference. These include;
Planetary Occultations by Stars
Planetary Occultations of First Magnitude Stars
Close Planetary Conjunctions of First Magnitude Stars
Close Grazes by Planet and Stars
MUTUAL PLANETARY OCCULTATIONS
Occultations of planets by other planets do occur. They are generally more frequent than occultations of the first magnitude stars — averaging in series once every forty years. A previous event occurred on the 03rd January 1818 AD by Venus and Jupiter, but to my knowledge was not observed. The next event will again be between Venus and Jupiter on the 22nd July 2065 AD, with an earlier Jovian occultation of Ganymede will take place an hour earlier. Needless to say, this event will be best seen in the southern hemisphere as the declination of both these planets will be fairly well south.
Between these years there is a veritable drought
|Jupiter / Neptune||19 Sep 1702|
|Mercury / Jupiter||20 Jul 1705|
|Mercury / Uranus||14 Jul 1708|
|Mercury / Jupiter||04 Oct 1708|
|Venus / Mercury||28 May 1737||Venus / Saturn||29 Aug 1771|
|Mercury / Uranus||21 Jul 1793|
|Mercury / Saturn||09 Dec 1808|
|Venus / Jupiter||03 Jan 1818|
|Venus / Jupiter||22 Nov 2065|
|Mercury / Neptune||15 Jul 2067|
|Mercury / Mars||11 Aug 2079|
|Mercury / Jupiter||27 Oct 2088|
|Mercury / Jupiter||07 Apr 2094|
|Venus / Neptune||21 Aug 2104|
|Venus / Jupiter||14 Sep 2123|
|Mercury / Mars||29 Jul 2126|
|Venus / Mercury||03 Dec 2133|
NOTE: I have taken the above table directly from Jean Meeus, and checked each with the software program Voyager 4 and Red Shift 4.
Unfortunately, especially with mutual events with Mercury and Venus, many of the will only lie close to the Sun to be properly observed. (Most from my own location in Sydney either occur in daylight or are below the horizon.) For any particularly location to see an predicted evening or nighttime event you would have to be in the right place at the right time. In any case, most of these mutual occultation events will not happen in most of any readers lifetime. (Except if you are younger than about twenty years old!) Unfortunately, the next event will be mostly unobservable as both Venus and Jupiter will be less than 8°W from the Sun — too dangerous for visual observing. It will also not be visible in Australia, as the mutual planetary occultation will occur when it is below the horizon.
Only two events have received much notoriety in the literature. One of the first appeared in Chinese records where an event between Mars and Jupiter on the 12th September 1170 AD, however, this was only visible to the naked-eye and the observers would have no means of ascertaining if an true occultation occurred unless there was a slight but short increase or decrease in brightness. According to some sources, this same event was also made by a monk in Canterbury, England. (Though admittedly, I have never sighted the source document, myself.) Regardless, this 1170 AD event at the time would have more of an astrological significance than any astronomical one!
From various sources, the only other event I have read about was made by John Bevis at Greenwich Observatory on the 28th May 1737. This event was of Venus and Mercury, where there are some fairly detailed telescopic accounts. There has been some debate on the validity of these observations, by they remain perhaps the only event ever recorded.
Last Update : 10th October 2012
Southern Astronomical Delights © (2012)