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    Spica eclipsed by the Moon: July 13/14
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2024 Jul 6, 08:55 -0700

    There's a nice occultation or "eclipse" of the first magnitude star Spica happening on July 13 (or July 14 UT date). This will be visible, at least in part, most of Canada, the continental US, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean and Central America. The image here is a Stellarium simulation for a typical northeastern US location. At that location the Moon's leading, dark limb will occult Spica at about 11:24pm Eastern US time. The actual time at your observing location will be different.

    The Moon will be close to 50% illuminated or "Half Full" also known as "First Quarter" (because it's 25% through the lunar cycle). Fortunately the Moon is not overwhelmingly bright at this phase. Spica is a first magnitude star, and it should be possible to observe the exact moment of its disappearance, which will be quite sudden (!), without optical aid or at least with low-power binoculars or a basic sextant scope. The re-appearance of Spica on the bright limb is much more difficult to see and time both because of contrast and because there is no "warning" of the emergence from behind the bright limb.

    Frank Reed


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