Observations

Live Stream of Moon Hiding Saturn, Aug 4 2014

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.

Map of 4th of August 2014 Saturn occultation visibility
The August 4, 2014 occultation of Saturn is visible from mainland Australia and the south-west Pacific region. If you live between the white lines you can see it at night. If you live between the red lines it occurs during daylight. Map courtesy of Occult4 by Dave Herald.

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.

8 responses to “Live Stream of Moon Hiding Saturn, Aug 4 2014

  • Hi Guys,

    Thank you for the Facebook post letting us know of the awesome chance to view Saturn this clearly and close.
    My husband and I stayed up just for the occasion.
    Pretty cool to be able to make out the rings of Saturn on a telescope we borrowed off a mate, who only bought it for $20 from Kmart. 🙂
    We were also able to use our binoculars and make out the rings!
    Was worth staying up and getting a chance to see this!

    Thanks again,

    Tim & Neridah

  • Have been listening to Fred Watson on abc radio, he is amazing , what a treasure he is! Thanks for the explanation . I was able to see it , northern nsw, not to many clouds.

  • 10:25 – Saturn has reappeared, the clouds in Sydney have cleared…and our live stream is coming to an end. Thank you for watching.

  • great to see Saturn and the moon , pity we had so much cloud ,all clouded over in Cairns. Do you have live streams very often . Regards John Hanlon

    • We try to run live streams of astronomical events as often as we can. Our next planned live stream will be the total lunar eclipse on October 8 , 2014.

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