National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



Occultation of Aldebaran (January, 2017)

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Let’s observe the sight of the Moon concealing Aldebaran!

Around midnight on the night of January 9/morning of January 10, the bright Moon waxing towards full phase hides the 1st magnitude star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus, causing an “occultation of Aldebaran.”

The occultation of Aldebaran can be seen from everywhere in Japan.

The disappearance and the reappearance occur at high elevations in the sky at midnight. These are very good conditions to observe. You can observe the disappearance and reappearance of it with the naked eye. But, you can observe it in detail with a telescope or binoculars.

From Tokyo, the time when you can see the “disappearance” (Aldebaran gets covered by the dark edge of the Moon) is around 0:01 am on January 10 and “reappearance” (Aldebaran emerges from behind the bright edge of the Moon) is around 1:09 am. Just before disappearance and just after reappearance, you can see the orange Aldebaran shining right next to the Moon. The times for the disappearance and reappearance differ from place to place. Here are the predicted times for the occultation of Aldebaran at major locations in Japan.

The occultation of Aldebaran at major locations in Japan.

LocationDisappearance (Elevation of Aldebaran)Reappearance (Elevation of Aldebaran)
NahaJanuary 10, 0:00.8 (57.9deg)January 10, 0:47.5 (47.5deg)
FukuokaJanuary 9, 23:49.5 (55.9deg)January 10, 0:59.4 (41.8deg)
KyotoJanuary 9, 23:56.4 (49.9deg)January 10, 1:05.5 (36.0deg)
TokyoJanuary 10, 0:01.3 (45.6deg)January 10, 1:09.0 (32.0deg)
SendaiJanuary 10, 0:00.4 (44.3deg)January 10, 1:07.7 (31.2deg)
SapporoJanuary 9, 23:58.5 (42.9deg)January 10, 1:01.7 (31.6deg)