How To Read The Occultation Predictions

For the prediction list, (not all columns are important), the following description follows:
All dates and times are given in UNIVERSAL TIME. This is the time astronomers use to make and record observations with. For the Kansas City Area, which is in the central time zone, hhen NOT using daylight savings time, 00 hrs UT = 6:00 PM and using daylight savings time, 00 hrs UT = 7:00PM. This is also the start of the new universal time DATE. So, if the prediction says MAY 3, 3:19:56, then the event actually occurs on MAY 2, LOCAL DATE, at 10:19:56 PM LOCAL TIME. . This may seem confusing at first, but as you use universal time, it will become second nature. There is a website with excellent conversion charts located at: The US Naval Observatory also has an excellent table located at:
The Prediction File shows:

DAY - the day of the event using universal time DATE
TIME - shown in h m s = hours minutes and seconds
P - The type of event - D/d = disappearance of star on DARK side
		     R/r = reappearance of star on DARK side
STAR - The designation given to the star for reporting
MAG - Magnitude or brightness of star (larger numbers fainter)
MOON ALT - the altitude of the moon (0=horizon; 90= overhead)
MOON AZ - North = 0; East = 90; South = 180; West = 270
CA - Cusp Angle is the angular degree from the pole

These are the important column which you will need to observe and report an event.

An Example:

Day  Time   P  Star  Sp  Mag   % Elon Sun  Moon   CA   PA  WA Long  Lat   A   B
    h  m  s     No  D         ill     Alt Alt Az   o    o   o  Lib  Lib  m/o m/o
 2  2 10 17 d  93628 F5  8.6  39+  77     48 248  63S 105 117 -7.3 +4.9 +1.6-1.8

This shows the star disappearing on the 2nd Universal Date, at 2:10:17 Universal time. This would actually occur then on the 1st Local Time, at 8:10:17PM (CST). The Star is 93628 and 8.6 magnitude (very faint). The moon is 48 degrees high, at an azimuth or 248 degrees (south-west). The star will disappear 63 degrees from the south pole (63s)

last updated Jan 30, 2000

Copyright © 1995