Chapter 3: UNUSUAL ASTRONOMCAL ALIGNMENTS-PART II

Chapter 3: UNUSUAL ASTRONOMICAL ALIGNMENTS-PART II

C. BRIGHT STARS OCCULTED DURING LUNAR TOTALITY

The following representative bright stars are occulted by a full moon, usually during a two-three week season. As with solar conjunctions, events occur approximately 1 to 2 days later each century (about 6 months from the periods listed below).
Table 3.8:  Brightest Stars Occultation Dates (11 brightest stars lying less than 1.79
degrees from the ecliptic)

Star Mag. Long. & Lat. Date Remarks (during totality) h Gem var. 92.74 -0.89 degs Dec. 25.1 <1600 >2150 AD m Gem 3.2 94.60 -0.83 Dec. 27.0 1917 during partial phase d Gem 3.5 107.82 -0.18 Jan. 8.7 1917, 1936, 1982, 2001, >2150 AD a Leo 1.3 149.13 +0.46 Feb. 18.4 See caption below r Leo 3.8 155.69 +0.15 Feb. 24.9 <1600 >2150AD b Vir 3.8 176.45 +0.69 Mar. 17.6 <1600 >2150AD a Lib 2.9 224.39 +0.34 May 5.5 1985, 2004, 2050, 2069, 2134 b Sco 2.9 242.49 +1.01 May 24.2 1826, 1845, 1891, 1975, >2150AD x Sgr 3.6 282.75 +1.67 Jul. 5.4 1936 & 1963 during partial phase p Sgr 3.0 285.55 +1.44 Jul. 8.3 <1600 >2150 AD l Aqr 3.8 340.88 -0.39 Sep. 4.0 1979 during partial phase

Table 3.8 list the occultation dates for selected brightest stars that can be occulted by a total lunar eclipse. During the period 2000-2500 AD, Regulus is occulted within a day of nine total and four partial lunar eclipses but only once during totality in 2445. Actually, Regulus was occulted by an eclipsed moon (all types) 15 times between 64-408 AD, 10 times between 864-1162 AD and 1710-1943 AD; with periodicities of 19 and 65 years.

Date references approximate opposition date (which precesses one to two days per century). Supplemental Table 3.2S lists all bright star occultations within four hours of mid-point occultation and mid-totality.

Table 3.9:  Bright Stars Occultations During Lunar Totality (2000-2500 A.D.)
Occultation  	Mid-point	Moon at Zenith 	Totality
Year 	Date 	UT  	Lat/Long	UT	Lat/LongMag.	Star	Description

2004	May	4	21h	-53/14E	21h	-17/52E	1.28	Zubenelgenubi 	Srn S. Africa
2050	May	6	21	-72/14E	22	-17/22E	1.06	Zubenelgenubi 	SE Indian Ocean/Antarctica
2134	May	8 	9	-35/145W10	-17/152W1.63	Zubenelgenubi 	SE Pacific Ocean
2420	Jan.	1	11	79/105W	10	23/144W	1.54	Mu Gemini  	Arctic
2445	Feb.	22	18	-15/94E	15	10/142E	1.66	Regulus   	S. Central Pacific Ocean, followed again in 65 years
2485	Jan.	1	10	56/156W	9	23/142W	1.31	Mu Gemini  	N. Central Pacific/Alaska
Table 3.9 lists all occasions from 2000-2500 when stars brighter than 3rd magnitude are occulted by a total lunar eclipse. Each line gives the approximate Universal time of central occultation (minimum separation) and mid-totality. Description highlight regional visibility. Note that a close conjunction of star and partial eclipsed moon will still be visible over more than half the Earth during most events.

SUPPLEMENTAL TABLE

TABLE 3.1S
The following list of Bright Planetary-Lunar Occultations or close Conjunctions occur within 4 hours of mid-totality (1 - 4000 A.D.)

DATE    TIME(UT)     PLANET 		MAG LAT  LONG	SEP'	ECL	LAT LONG	REMARKS
04/19/227 03:49	(0h26m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-73.4	179.3E	51	04:15	-11.1	64.4W	
03/08/285 14:12	(0h12m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-68.9	77.3E	59	14:00	4.5	152.9E
01/27/343 11:23	(2h53m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-67.3	161.7E	33	08:30	18.2	123.6W
07/23/343 18:05	(2h20m)	Saturn	0.0	67.2	68.3E	22	20:25	-20.2	54.4E
12/16/354 17:48	(3h18m)	Saturn	-0.5	28.8	93.3E	0*	14:30	23.4	142.4E	Meeus 15:52  	1:22
12/17/400 20:54	(1h44m)	Jupiter	-2.7	-4.6	49.4E	0*	19:10	23.4	72.7E	Meeus 20:25 	1:15
11/04/412 21:47	(1h12m)	Mars	-1.9	-43.9	43.6E	0*	20:35	16.2	47.8E	Meeus 21:51	1:`15
10/27/459 18:40	(2h50m)	Mars	-2.0	35.7	61.4E	0*	14:50	13.6	133.7E
12/29/502 13:03	(2h02m)	Saturn	-0.5	27.8	163.6E	0*	15:05	23.3	135.3E	Meeus 16:02	0:57
06/04/513 06:49	(3h33m)	Jupiter	-2.7	-20.2	106.1W	0*	10:16	-22.6	155.1W
05/03/524 20:18	(1h42m)	Jupiter -2.6	-70.5	86.8W	9*	18:30	-16.6	81.1E	Meeus 19:28	0:58
03/25/582 04:59	(0h05m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-73.8	166.2W	46	05:04	-2.6	74.8W
08/29/611 04:10	(1h00m)	Saturn	0.3	60.7	131.5W	83	05:10	-9.0	77.8W
02/13/640 08:07	(1h37m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-69.1	166.9W	22	06:30	12.7	93.4W
05/18/691 01:46	(2h56m)	Saturn	0.0	-69.7	179.2E	32	22:50	-19.9	16.0E
11/23/755 20:44	(1h54m)	Jupiter  -2.8	53.9	28.6E	0*	18:50	21.2	74.9E	Meeus 19:31	0:41
09/21/777 01:35	(3h50m)	Jupiter	-2.9	57.6	113.6W	40	21:45	0.7	31.8E
08/21/788 18:44	(3h08m)	Jupiter	-2.9	68.4	22.7E	41	15:36	-10.7	126.2E
07/21/799 17:51	(2h11m)	Jupiter	-2.9	52.9	62.9E	0*	15:40	-20.3	126.0E	Meeus 16:20	0:40
06/20/810 20:55	(1h00m)	Jupiter  -2.8	-21.4	45.1E	0*	19:55	-23.7	61.2E	Meeus 20:32	0:37
05/20/821 23:48	(3h23m)	Jupiter	-2.6	-40.6	0.5E	0*	20:25	-20.8	52.3E	Meeus 21:02    	0:37
04/10/879 11:58	(0h48m)	Jupiter  -2.5	-71.8	65.3E	10*	11:10	-9.2	167.5W	Meeus 11:39	0:29
02/17/919 14:07	(3h54m)	Saturn	0.2	-70.5	101.3E	63	18:01	10.6	93.7E
02/28/937 04:49	(3h09m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-70.1	137.5W	16	01:40	6.4	21.8W
01/19/995 19:16	(3h51m)	Jupiter	-2.6	-12.3	70.0E	0*	15:25	19.5	132.5E	Meeus 15:51	0:26
01/09/1042 00:32(3h38m)	Jupiter	-2.6	-19.7	19.7W	0*	04:10	21.2	59.8W
12/09/1052 01:32(3h17m)	Jupiter	-2.7	51.3	32.5W	0*	22:15	23.7	25.5E	Meeus 22:39	0:24
10/29/1110 09:07(3h43m)	Jupiter	-2.9	63.8	98.2E	12*	12:50	15.7	163.5E
09/28/1121 02:48(3h07m)	Jupiter	-2.9	70.0	141.7W	51	05:55	4.5	91.6W
11/15/1407 11:22(1h18m)	Jupiter	-2.8	64.6	 47.8E	13*	12:40	21.0	166.8E	Meeus 12:51	0:11
10/14/1418 22:43(0h43m)	Jupiter	-2.9	70.9	105.0W	14*	22:00	11.2	26.3E	Meeus 22:11	0:11
09/13/1429 00:00(0h20m)	Jupiter	-2.9	59.6	 87.5W	60	00:20	 -0.3	7.1W
08/13/1440 04:00(2h50m)	Jupiter	-2.9	70.1	108.0W	3*	06:50	-12.4	101.8W
07/26/1580 12:03(0h58m)	Sat-Ura	 0.2	31.7	158.8E	0*	11:05	-17.4	164.9W	Meeus 11:09	0:04
09/13/1848 09:06(2h44m)	Saturn	 0.6	72.1	151.7E	82	06:20	-3.7	96.0W
06/17/2076 02:04(0h36m)	Saturn	-0.1	-67.2	164.4E	18	02:40	19.9	145.8W
07/26/2344 12:06(0h19m)	Saturn	0.1	16.8	165.9E	0*	12:25	-19.2	175.4E	Meeus 12:42	0:17
11/18/2412 01:03(1h08m)	Saturn	-0.4	64.8	149.6W	77	23:55	19.4	2.5W
04/26/2488 08:30(0h40m)	Mars	-1.6	-63.0	116.4E	6*	09:10	-13.8	137.9W	Meeus 9:42	0:32
09/02/2612 10:12(0h37m)	Saturn	0.5	69.2	143.4E	29	09:35#	8.1	143.5W
06/07/2821 01:33(0h53m)	Mars	-2.1	62.8	3.1E	67	00:40	22.8	10.0W
01/11/2829 07:18(3h48m)	Saturn	-0.4	34.1	105.3W	0*	03:30	21.8	50.9W	Meeus 4:23	0:59
05/11/2962 10:05(3h35m)	Mars	-1.6	-6.2	143.8W	0*	06:30	15.3	101.8W
01/26/2977 07:39(1h06m)	Saturn	-0.3	16.9	114.8W	0*	08:45	18.7	128.7W	Meeus 10:01	1:16
07/14/3461 21:45(2h10m)	Saturn	0.0	-65.3	179.9W	11*	23:55	-21.6	3.6E
08/08/3581 11:21(3h11m)	Saturn	0.3	-2.6	171.7W	0*	08:10	-15.7	120.3W
06/06/3584 15:45(1h35m)	Jupiter	-2.5	-68.9	99.3E	0*	14:10	-22.4	147.9E
06/25/3881 10:21(0h41m)	Jupiter	-2.6	-59.8	161.5W	0*	09:40	-23.2	143.4W
* Signifies Occultation (during Totality) # 99% Partial Eclipse Note: Italics events are included as close conjunctions during totality in Table 11.

Generally, the time between maximum totality and central occultation should be less than two hours for the planet to be in contact with the moon during totality. This table reflects all occultations and conjunctions (maximum distance <90 ' arc in R.A., measured from object centers) occurring under four hours from optimum alignment. Time denoted in parenthesis is the absolute time difference between occultation mid-point and mid-totality. Latitudes and Longitudes are points where the occulted star and eclipsed moon are at the zenith.

SUPPLEMENTAL TABLE

TABLE 3.2S
The following list of Bright Star-Lunar Occultations or close Conjunctions occur within 4 hours of mid-totality (2000 - 2500 A.D.)

DATE	TIME(UT)	STAR	MAG	LAT	LONG	ECL	LAT	LONG
05/04/2004	21:06	(0h36m)	Zubenelgenubi	1.28	-52.8	14.0.E	20:30	-16.6	51.6E
02/20/2008	23:50	(3h35m)	Regulus		1.09	-27.1	17.7W	03:25	 10.5	47.9W
05/26/2040	08:12	(3h33m)	Graffias	1.51	-69.4	108.2E	11:45	-21.6	177.0W
05/06/2050	21:06	(1h24m)	Zubenelgenubi	1.06	-71.5	13.6E	22:30	-17.3	21.6E
05/08/2134	08:37	(1h28m)	Zubenelgenubi	1.63	-35.0	144.7W	10:05	-17.3	152.2W
05/10/2199	12:34	(3h46m)	Zubenelgenubi	1.71	-42.5	160.9W	16:20	-17.8	114.3E
07/31/2242 	03:49	(2h01m)	Pi Sgr		1.28	-69.3	116.1E	05:50	-21.6	85.9W
01/01/2420	11:29	(1h49)	Mu Gemini	1.54	 79.6	104.7W	09:40	23.2	144.3W
02/22/2445	17:32	(2h47m)	Regulus		1.66	-14.5	93.8E	14:45	9.9	141.9E
01/01/2485	10:08	(0h38m)	Mu Gemini	1.31	 55.7	155.9W	09:30	22.7	141.8W
Generally, the time between maximum totality and central occultation should be less than two hours for the star to be in contact with the moon during totality (note 2445 exception). This table reflects all occultations and conjunctions occurring under four hours from optimum alignment. Time denoted in parenthesis is the absolute time difference between occultation mid-point and mid-totality. Highlighted events reflect occultation during totality. Latitudes and Longitudes are points where the occulted star is at mid-path and eclipsed moon is at the zenith.

D. Jupiter's Galilean Satellites

Io (I), Europa (II), Ganymede (III), and Callisto (IV) act as a mini-solar system. The moons' commensurabilities with one another causes them to orbit with near perfect resonance. This means that these four giants cannot eclipse, occult or be at greatest east or west elongation with Jupiter all at the same time although combinations of these phenomena can occur. Their mean periods are: (I): 1.769 days, (II) 3.551 days, (III) 7.155 days and (IV) 16.689 days. The orbital ratios between II and I is 2.0073:1; between III and II, is 2.0149:1; and between IV-III is 2.3325:1. Because the ratios are similar, one can roughly determine repeated satellite alignments, and in the relatively short term, predicting some rare and unusual configurations. This section explores this phenomena.

If Jupiter's largest moons were exactly in the Earth-Jupiter orbital plane and not inclined with respect to Jupiter, they would spend the following time either in transit or occultation with Jupiter:: I - 10.8%, II - 6.75%, III - 4.2%, and IV 2.5%. However, if one accounts for the real-world orbital dynamics , the following approximate yearly hourly variations are noted:

In the years 2000, 2006, 2012, 2018, and 2024 the moons are furthest from Earth-Jupiter equatorial plane with Callisto missing Jupiter entirely The approximate number of events (both transits and occultations) that would occur if exactly in this plane (i.e., 2003, 2009, and 2021) is obtained by dividing the particular satellite's total hours by approximately the time it takes to cross Jupiter's equator: I (2.3hrs), II (2.9hrs), III (3.6hrs), and IV (4.9hrs).

Maximum possible separation combination is 139.83Jr). This type of event is listed in Tables 13D below. The extreme elongation of (I-II-III-IV) is maximized numerically as follows: + - - + , - + + - , + - + -, or - + -+ where (-) is east and (+) is west of Jupiter (i.e., IV is at opposite elongation to II & III), where, I=5.88Jr, II=-9.3Jr, III-=-15.0Jr and IV=26.55Jr.

Table 3.10:  Galilean Satellites-All Invisible
					Last to 		First to		Satellite Situation
Year	Date  		Elong	Duration  	Disappear	Reappear 	I      II     III      IV	Min Sum

2001	Nov.	8 	117W 	17min	III 	16:27 UT 	I	16:44UT T	EO	E	T	10.5 Jr
2009	Sep.	3 	171E 	 109	III 	04:44	  	I	06:33  	O	T	T	E	4.44
2021	Aug.	15	175W	2	I	15:45	  	IV 	15:47  	E	T	T	T	4.78
2033	Jul.	28 	152W	 107	I	03:03	  	III 	04:50  	EO	T	T	O	4.35
2045	Jul. 	9	47W	2	I	14:38 	 	III 	14:40  	E	T	T	T	5.20
2057	Jul.	15 	127W 	64	IV 	23:07	  	I	00:11  	O	T	O	T	4.60
2085	Feb.	7 	136E	16	IV 	14:18  		I	14:34  	O	T	O	TG	6.54
2097	Feb.	13	135E	32	IV 	23:10  		II	23:42  	OE	T	T	T	4.20
Table 3.10 lists most occurrences during the period 2000-2099, when all four Galilean Satellites will be simultaneously invisible due to transit, occultation and/or eclipse with Jupiter. Other events may occur (as with the 2001 example) when one of the satellites eclipsed far from the disk of Jupiter. Times are in Universal Time and indicate to the nearest five minutes when all moons are invisible. The two-two minute events in 2021 and 2045 are marginal at best. The event in 2085 will have Callisto graze (G) the polar rim. Transits (T), occultations (O), and eclipses (E) describes each satellite's event(s). Solar elongation in degrees (E=morning/W=evening). Minimum sum=ABS(I-II + I-III + I-IV + II-III + II-IV + III-IV) pair distances measured in Jupiter's equatorial radius. Some satellites will undergo eclipses in addition to transits or occultations during these rare encounters with Jupiter. These events can only occur when Earth-Jupiter are near each other's orbital planes.
Table 3.11:  Galilean Satellites-Unusual Alignments
	Date		UT	Elong	Min Sum

	1/15/2000*	16h	88E	8.73Jr
	4/03/2001	22	53E	4.86
	6/22/2002	6	21E	5.82
	1/02/2006	10	71W	7.69
	9/09/2006	20	54E	8.12
	8/02/2012	21	64W	8.31
	7/21/2036	 14	36E	7.31
	12/27/2041	12	46W	6.69
	7/27/2048*	20	47W	7.49
	3/10/2049	9	90E	4.52
	2/14/2064	7	38W	6.59
	2/26/2073	3	112E	5.25
	2/02/2088	1	118W	7.58
Table 3.11 for the period 2000-2099, list the occasions when three Galilean Satellites will be within 1 Jovian radii (Jr) of Jupiter. However, Callisto is found just north or south of Jupiter's poles while the other three moon's are in transit, or occulted at the same time . Minimum Sum =ABS(I-II + I-III+I-IV+II-III+II-IV+III-IV) pair distances measured in Jr. * denotes mutual close encounters very near Jupiter or invisible due to eclipse.
Table 3.12:  Galilean Satellites-Long Duration Pairing
	Date		UT	Sats	Dur	Min	Elong

	1/12/2003	3.6h	II-III	7.4hrs	.0036	155W
	6/22/2003	8.0	I-III	3.6	.0038	48E
	8/13/2009	6.8	II-III	4.6	.0583	179W
	9/06/2009	10.0	I-III	3.2	.0735	156E
	11/26/2014	3.2	II-IV	5.8	.0362	98W
	12/06/2014	2.0	II-IV	6.2	.0515	109W
	1/02/2015	17.4	I-II	4.6	.0162	139W
	3/05/2015	10.4	III-IV	4.0	.0279	150E
	3/05/2015	17.8	III-IV	4.4	.0242	150E
	8/03/2021	11.4	I-II	3.6	.0568	179E
	12/06/2026	21.6	II-III	4.0	.0418	104W
	12/25/2026	20.1	I-II	4.0	.0327	125W
	8/16/2033	9.0	I-II	3.2	.0757	147W
	3/12/2045	18.6	I-III	3.4	.0525	38W
	9/17/2050	11.0	I-III	3.0	.0265	29W
Table 3.12 list possible mutual occultations or eclipses of one satellite by another during the period when the Earth and Jupiter crosses each other's ecliptic plane. The reason for any uncertainty in predicting these events is due to the slight satellite orbital inclinations with respect to Jupiter, the apparent small sizes of each satellite and gravitational uncertainty. However, on several occasions, pairs of satellites will be within approximately 0.1Jr for extended periods as noted above. The satellites may play tag with one another several times during these interval, making for interesting observing sessions. Minimum separation (Jr) may be more or less than shown if satellite inclination is considered. Universal Time reflects the start of each close pairing.
Table 3.13:  Galilean Satellites-Extreme Elongations
			I-II-III-IV		Sum (+56Jr) 	Solar 		Interval
Date		UT	Configure  	Dur 	@Max Elong 	Elong	Next Event	Same Event

1996 Feb 17	23h	-  +  - + 	1.5h 	.6868		50W	8mo		158mo
1996 Oct 25	8	+  -  -  +	1.0	.6139		72E	114		114
2006 Apr 25	6	+  -  -  +	0.5	.6036		170E	36		44
2009 Apr 18	15	-  +  -  +	<0.5 	.5996		62W	8		417
2009 Dec 25	1	+  -  -  +	2.0	.6472		54E	35		417
2012 Nov 23*	16	-  +  +  -	1.5	.7166		168W	66		173
2018 May 1	14	+  -  +  +	2.0	.6861		172E	36		173
2021 Apr 24	22	-  +  +  +	0.5	.5968		63W	43		429
2024 Nov 29	23	-  +  -  - 	<0.5 	.6117		170W	29		173
2027 Apr 19	15	-  +  +  -	0.5	.6145		112E	65		560
2032 Sep 24	11	+  -  +  +	1.5.	.7110		113E	71		114
2038 Aug 18	13	+  -  -  - 	<0.5 	.6055		11W	8		448
2039 Apr 25	22	-  +  -  - 	0.5	.6088		111W	35		114
2042 Mar 25	12	+  -  + + 	0.5	.5757		125W	22		575
2044 Jan 24	8	-  +  -  +	<0.5 	.6445		16W	8		114
2044 Sep 30	18	+  -  -  +	1.0	.5911		112E	49		51
2048 Oct 23	22	-  +  -  - 	1..5  	.6837		117W	22		417
2050 Aug 24	18	+  -  +  -	2.0	.6849		12W	43		44
2054 Mar 31	19	+  -  -  +	1.0	.6005		126W	22		158
2056 Jan 30	16	-  +  +  +	2.0	.7243		16W	22		129
2057 Nov 30	11	+  -  -  +	1.5	.6425		94E	129		------
2068 Aug 24	17	+  -  -  +	0.5	.5976		158E	7		------
2069 Mar 31	9	-  +  +  +	2.0	.6722		30W	157		15
2073 Dec 29	20	-  +  +  -	1.0	 6039		144W	15		114
2075 Mar 26	3	-  +  +  -	1.0	.5829		153E	8		------
2075 Oct 30	18	+  -  -  - 	1.0	.5811		31W	107		------
2084 Sep 23	2	-  +  +  -	>0.5 	.5472		77W	8		------
2085 May 31	12	+  -  +  -	1.5	.6252		39E	7		------
2086 Jan 5	3	-  +  -  - 	>0.5 	.5938		147W	49		------
2090 Feb 28	23	+  -  +  +	0.5	.5395		65W	------ 		------
Table 3.13 list all visible occasions when all four Galilean Satellites will be simultaneously at greatest elongation from Jupiter as seen from Earth, for the period 1996-2090. Universal Time reflects the approximate mid-point of the event, satellite configuration (E/W of Jupiter (-/+)); duration (hours); total elongation + fraction (Jr); solar elongation, W=morning, E=evening object (degrees); and interval between events and same event configuration (months). I & II cannot be on the same side at the same time (i.e., + + + + or - - - -). The absolute elongation extremes as measured in Jr are approximately: I=5.88, II=9.30, III=15.00, and IV=26.55 for a maximum total of 56.73Jr. The duration of each event is determined by the time the absolute sum remains above the arbitrary value of 56.37Jr where: I > 5.80Jr, II > 9.22Jr, III > 14.92Jr, and IV >26.43Jr all occurring at the same time.

During the next 100 years, mutual occultations and eclipses of these moons with each other may occur during the period 6/2002-9/2003, 5/08-3/10, 5/14-8/15, 5/20-3/22, 5/26-8/27, 5/32-3/34, 9/37-8/39, 4/44-8/45, 5/50-8/51 etc. Jr represents the separation between each moon based on Jupiter's equatorial radius but does not take satellite inclination into account (in the long term, this factor is averaged out). Note that the faster orbiting inner moons (Io and Europa) will result in more (quasi)* conjunctions.. Solar elongation is measured in degrees where W indicates morning events and E indicates evening events. For all cases, y (# events in 100 years) =-17.95 + 1917 * x (separation); correlation coefficient r=0.9956. * denotes close approaches without necessarily having conjunction in right ascension (R.A.). Further reference to conjunctions imply possible quasi-conjunctions as well.

The rarity of conjunctions increases when all four moons are in conjunction. For example, I-II-III-IV are within 1.4Jr 6 times, 1.5Jr-10 times, and 1.6Jr-16 times of one another during the period 2000-2099).



Return to: Home Page


Go Back To: Chapter 1 (part 1)

Go Back To: Chapter 2 (part 2)

Go Back To: Chapter 2 (part 1)

Go Back To: Chapter 2 (part 2)

Go Back To: Chapter 3 (part 1)