Equipment review

I use an observatory hosting a C-14 Edge HD scope, and a portable TV101 on an iOptron EQ45 mount.

C14The C-14 is housed in a 10 x 8 foot shed, originally a Lowes shed with modified roof and internal 2×4 wall supports.

Not shown is an Orion 80mm guidescope with Orion Autoguider, and s run using PHD2 (, which is frankly phenomenal.

Various imaging options include an ST2000 XM cooled CCD camera, a modified Canon Ti5 (mod by Hap Griffin –


Aldebaran occultation Jan 19, 2016

Watch a bright star (Aldebaran) blink out behind the Moon tomorrow evening, Tuesday Jan 19. The event (called an occultation) occurs across the US east of the Rockies except for the southeast. Those north of a line from Houston to Savannah GA will see the star disappear. South of that line and the Moon misses.

Along a narrow track people with telescopes will see the star blink off and on as it’s hidden my mountains and reappears in valleys along the edge of the Moon (called a grazing occultation). One of my first observations of such an event was in the 1975-76 period using an 8″ Cooke refractor, and I saw more than 6 events.

With no scope, just head outside and watch the Moon from early evening, and at various times across the country (it depends on your location) you’ll see Aldebaran snap out of view. Binoculars will give you a great view. Set up a digital camera and record as video – even better get a reliable time signal recorded too.

The grazing occultation track is here:

Approximate disappearance times for some major cities (Go out a few minutes earlier and find the Moon): Atlanta 9:21pm E.S.T., Baton Rouge LA 8:16pm C.S.T., Boston MA 9:33pm E.S.T., Chicago IL 9:01pm C.S.T., Dallas TX 7:46pm C.S.T., Denver CO (dusk) 6:27pm M.S.T., Houston TX 8:02pm C.S.T., Kansas City MO 7:46pm C.S.T. Pittsburgh PA 9:18pm, E.S.T. Wichita KS 7:41pm, C.S.T.

Aldebaran graze track

Graze track of Jan 19th 2016 across Louisiana