Saturn Emerging from Behind the Moon

Observing from Cambrai in northern France, Étienne Bonduelle watched as Saturn reappeared from behind the waning gibbous Moon on November 3, 2001. On April 16th European observers will see Saturn disappear behind the dark lunar limb.

There will be a spectacular lunar occultation of Saturn in
northern Europe on the evening of April 16th, with a southern-limit graze visible over southwestern Ireland, southwestern England, northern France, southwestern Switzerland, and northern Italy. A map of Europe that includes the path of this grazing occultation can be found here. (The occultation is total north of the red line on the map.) On the 16th the Moon will be a thin, 15 percent sunlit crescent. This will be the last night-time lunar occultation of Saturn for many years.

For northern Europeans, the crescent Moon will cause Saturn to disappear and later reappear at these Universal Times:

Amsterdam, 20:54, 21:29;

Berlin, 20:49, 21:30;

Bern, 21:12, 21:24;

Brussels, 20:59, 21:28;

Copenhagen, 20:42, 21:28;

Dublin, 20:57, 21:22;

Helsinki, 20:30, 21:22;

London, 21:00, 21:25;

Paris, 21:10, 21:22;

Prague, 20:54, 21:31;

Stockholm, 20:34, 21:25.

This Saturn occultation takes place at midday in northwestern North America, so a telescope will be required. Here are local daylight saving times on April 16th:


Regina, SK, 1:48 p.m., 2:37 p.m.


Edmonton, AB, 12:42 p.m., 1:42 p.m.;

Calgary, AB, 12:38, 1:36.


Portland, OR, 11:25 a.m., 12:20 p.m.;

San Francisco, CA, 11:18, 11:58;

Seattle, WA, 11:27, 12:25;

Vancouver, BC, 11:30, 12:29.

Extensive information about this occultation, including details of the southern-limit graze path and partial occultation zone, and times of the disappearance and reappearance of the center of Saturn for dozens of European and North American locations (the event will occur in daylight in northwestern and northern North America) can be found on the International Occultation Timing Association's Web site.


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