The occultation is now over. But you can watch our recorded stream above. If you can’t wait to see the exciting moments: Saturn begins to disappear behind the dark limb of the Moon near 41 minutes into the stream and reappears just before 1 hour 23 minutes into the stream.
On Monday August 4 Australia gets its last chance this year to view the Moon pass in front of the beautiful planet Saturn and hide (or occult) it. Sydney Observatory will live stream this occultation of Saturn. You can watch it here or on YouTube.
For Sydney the event lasts almost an hour . It begins at 9:22pm AEST and ends at 10:13pm AEST. It is visible from all of mainland Australia with only Tasmania missing out.
This event is clearly visible, and completely safe to view, by eye without any special equipment such as binoculars or telescopes. However, binoculars or telescopes will improve the view and Sydney Observatory will live stream the event using one of our telescopes.
We plan to live stream from 8:45pm AEST on Monday 4 August 2014. Our telescope will be following Saturn. The Moon will move into view and at 9:22pm AEST slide over Saturn, occulting it. Of course, the Moon is relatively close at a distance of almost 38o,ooo-km, while Saturn is around 1.3-billion km further away. Our telescope will continue to follow Saturn’s position and we will see the planet reappear on the other side of the Moon at 10:13pm AEST.
This occultation will be visible from all of mainland Australia. From locations other than Sydney the times of disappearance and reappearance will be different. ABC Science has an excellent post in which Ian Musgrave has calculated times for other cities in Australia, and Fred Watson explains how often these occultations occur.