In the course of a day the Moon covers about 13° of its orbit, moving from West to East across the sky. This motion is easiest to see when its orbit takes it close to bright stars. It is particularly striking when a stellar occultation occurs: a star suddenly vanishes behind the eastern limb of the Moon, and then reappears on the other side after a certain interval. In total, there are about one thousand stars visible to the naked eye that the Moon may occult. They lie in a narrow band to the north and south of the ecliptic, and are never more than 8° distant from it.
KeywordsPosition Angle Proper Motion Universal Time Geographic Latitude Lunar Orbit
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- J. Robertson; Catalog of 3539 Zodiacal Stars for the Equinox 1950.0 Astronomical Papers of the American Ephemeris, vol. X, part 2; Washington (1917). Reference catalogue for the prediction and assessment of stellar occultations. Contains stars near the ecliptic down to about ninth magnitude that may be occulted by the Moon.Google Scholar