Lunar Graze Occultations observed by Tim Haymes (UK) 1972-present
~ Including a few events from other sources ~
20 Tauri: [#Chinnor]
organised by T. Haymes
Organised by Tim Haymes: Four positions
The graze of 20 Tau passed towns and villages south of Oxford. Predictions from the NAO gave two columns of figures, one was the mean limb and the other 1-sigma inside. This we referred to as the "graze track" which was plotted on an OS map. The aim for a graze observing team was to align themselves at intervals along a line perpendicular to, and inside the track (or roughly so). We decided to deploy along the Lower Icknield Way - a Roman road close to Chinnor. The Watts limb profile was also provided and mid-time was about 2005 UT
A group off four (myself included) from the Maidenhead Astronomy Group assembled with small refractors, two stopwatches each and I think we must have had tape recorders. All being well we would get a time for the first event and a time when we stopped recording and extrapolate timings in between.
reflector ( 150m inside the N Limit)
Having set up
near well land-marked positions over a distance of 1000 yards (with
the aid of a 6" to Mile OS) we pondered the question
Surprisingly we saw no occultation ! Had I made a gross error with track plotting? No, all seemed OK. We reported this to the NAO, and Mr L. Morrison wrote a letter apologising for a large error in the ZC catalogue for this star - which had been suspected. The error in declination was at least 0.7" arc, and the path was about a 1 mile to the South of us. However our spirits were un-dampened - it had been a beautiful clear evening and I vowed not be thwarted by a lack of time signal in the future. ( I build a 60KHz MSF radio receiver in 1976)
Tim Haymes: Single observer position
Xi Sag was magnitude
3.6 and would graze the S Cusp along a track from the Isle of White
to Suffolk. I knew the road down to Petworth very well, so this was
a logical location. The Graze would be at 1747 UT with the Moon 36%
illuminated. I set up close to a lay
by off the A272 identified on the OS map inside the mean limb. The
car is an Austin 1100 - my first car given to me by a work colleague
Of interest is the improvement in our knowledge of the limb. Compare the O-C recorded on the original report(Actually a copy of the one sent to NAO) with the O-C when the same timings are reduced with OCCULT4 now. ( see graphics above)
Organiser: Tim Haymes, single position, observer and recorder.
I teamed up with Eddie Moore of Reading A.S. to observe a 6.8 mag star at 79% lunar phase. Eddie hadn't seen a graze so we thought it was worth a shot since it was not too far away. There was a convenient Triangulation Point on Marlow Hill in the graze track. It was also Christmas-Eve and traffic was very light. We stopped at the side of the road and I jumped the low hedge, passing through Eddie's 80mm Refractor. Conditions were hazy, but the observation of one ingress was taken. The star was a bit dim and the O-C suggested the time was taken prior to actual disappearance. I don't recall how the timing was made. It was all slightly unsatisfactory. The Irish Coffee after the event was warming.
Tim Haymes: Single observer position
In 1976 I was completing my last year at University of Salford as a mature student studying Chemistry. I joined the Salford Astronomical Society and used their instruments for occultation work. I also finished a personell project to build an MSF 60 KHz receiver with the help of an electronics degree student Doug Boit who helped tune the circuit. The radio receiver was used at ZC164 occultation. The prediction was computed by H. -J. Bode (IOTA). From memory I think I sourced it from the BAA Lunar Section Director Geoff Amery who had been in contact with the Mr Bode. Goeff was also a member of Reading A.S. with a keen interest in occultations.
Epsilon Psc is magnitude 4.4 with central graze predicted for 0253 30s UT. The Sun's altitude would be -6.5, so in a pre-dawn twilight sky. The Cusp Angle was also small at -0.6 degrees at the Southern cusp. From my observing site near a tree I set up the 6" but failed to find the star in the brightening sky, however I timed an egress on the dark limb at 0253 16.6s (PE 1.0s applied). It was a difficult observation and O-C indicates my timing was LATE.
A few days later I surveyed the location and found I was 250m NE of a trig point. This enable me to find the Long and Lat with reasonable certainty. The tree and Trig Point don't appear on modern imagery on Google Earth, but can be seen on the 1945 photographs.
Long / Lat. I used
reference libraries which allowed either photocopy, tracing, or measurement
of large scale maps.The maps provided a grid reference which could be
converted to Long and Lat using a BASIC computer program written for
ZX81 by G.J.Kirby in J. Brit. astron. Assoc 1982, Vol 92 page 198
[with correction in October]. I adjusted the code to run on other systems
(Apple, PC, Cassio).
by Geoff Amery, nine positions
The graze was predicted in the BAAH 1977 (entry no 6), passing NW-SE from N Ireland, through Wales down to the South Coast near Eastbourne. The Moon was 55% sunlit and it was a Northern limit at roughly 2330UT, cusp angle 3.4 degrees.
Organisers Rob McNaught and Dave Gavine: five positions
Observers: (T Haymes+D Gavine), D Taylor, R McNaught, M Fodor, (P Ferguson+D Ferguson). A second team observed elsewhere.
With confidence we can say this was the "Great Aldebaran graze". The red giant star passed behind the mountain tops on the Northern limb at 0225UT on a clear night with the track passing just North of the Great Glen to Inverness.
I was part of a team of Scottish observers. My friends Don and Pat Ferguson who lived at Tadley (not far from me near Reading) were driving 500 miles to Nairn to prepare for this graze. They kindly transported my 6" F/8 reflector which I collected on the night of the graze. I traveled up by overnight coach and met up with the graze team:
Gavine (Fort Augustus),
Robert McNaught (Dundee, 10x80 bins), Dave
Taylor (Dundee, 112mm refl), Martin Fodor
(79mm OG). Pat and Don Ferguson (112mm
Photo by Morgan Findlay
My personal objective was record the graze on film. No one had attempted this before and a lot of planning had gone into this adventure. Several films had already been exposed on bright star disappearances at 18 frames per second on Ektachrome 160ASA. I knew the cine camera would work. It was a simple Kodak "instamatic" type unit with a fixed focus lens which could be attached by the a-focal method. This used an eyepiece in the draw tube focused at infinity and the camera (no focus arrangement) would be brought up the eyepiece. The exit and entrance pupils were a good match. A bracket was made to hold the cine camera at the eyepiece and there was a jubilee clip arrangement to hold the run-button down. The length of film was about 3.5 min total run time.
on the night?
On the night, radio reception was poor owing to the mountain to the South, but it was good enough.
The stations McNaught, Fodor and Ferguson used different timing methods. From what I recall at the Ferguson site, Pat made the observations, while Don was the Recorder - i think using a UT synchronised clock, noting times to 0.5s.
....................Observer.. O-C ...Range.....Contacts
Gavine..-0.04 +/- 0.03.........8
Organiser AnthonyThomas / Tim Haymes: Four positions
Observers reported: (T Haymes+P Hunt), A Thomas, M Ratcliffe. Not reported: (F Gear+B Davies)
This was the first graze track of 1979 in the BAAH. WZ Ceti (mag 6.7) was grazing the Southern Limit of 64% sunlit Moon at 1917UT. Planning was done by Anthony Thomas of Reading AS, and three observers set up to record it: Anthony, Martin Ratcliffe, and myself. There was another team observing nearby. (See the observer list). I was on the Southern limit (with Peter Hunt - 3" Obj) and we recorded just a pair of contacts on the dark side separated by 37 sec. Sunrise was on some high lunar peaks and bright side contacts were not seen. Time keeping was by tape recorder and continuous radio time signal (MSF 60 KHz).
A plot of all the results was issued by RGO which showed a line of contacts passing through the mountain. John Mason in the LSC 1979-05 wrote to say that these seemed to be spurious.
Martin Ratcliffe, Six stations
A second graze in1979 was listed the BAAH. A 6.4 mag star (HIP 29326) at the crescent (21%) Moon with Northern limit. No limb profile was available from Watts. Once again members from Reading, Newbury and Maidenhead Astro Socs teamed up. Eight stations were identified along the course of a disused railway line. The weather turned bad at the last minute with cloud moving over, but one station was lucky. The Moon was clearly seen through a gap in the cloud and the writer timed the first DD event at 2039: 37.4s (O-C +0.52) at the -1 Sigma limit. The time was 2040 UT in the evening with the star at altitude 23 degrees.
This story would not be complete without the Occult archive. I was not the only observer submitting a results. Martin Ratcliffe in the center of the graze path observed 7 contacts. I also see my name is not recorded against my own observation in Occult - also my height above MSL is incorrect (or not supplied).
Timing was by audio announcememt on tape recording with continuous radio time signal (MSF Rugby). PE was applied 0.6s
Graze of ZC869 observed in the grounds of Wellington College.
[ Dbl* A 496, HIP 27110]
John Trott six stations.
This was the first successful graze to be reported to ILOC, who had taken over from RGO in 1980/1. For some reason I was using a 3" refractor (not my 6"). The view was quite dim by comparison. A high magnification was used (x150). I think I had to borrow the telescope and eyepiece from Don Ferguson because I arrived without any optical equipment. I was one of six teams from Reading. It was a successful expedition. Anthony Thomas (Woolhampton School) timed 11 events. I recorded 4 by tape and Radio time signal.
Note: Some observes reported non-instantanious effects. Where they aware this was a known double star?
My mobile 6" had been decommissioned, and the 8" was not available as a mobile instrument.
Dr.Eric Strach in The Astronomer magazine
(1987 Jan), timed by Eric Jones accompanied
by Murad Ghorbal (President LAS).
From the TA archives scanned by NASA Astrophysical Data System E.Strach and team planned to observe but was thwarted by cloud initially, however some timings were obtained by E. Strach and E. Jones in good conditions with an 8" telescope and magnification x166. The timings are OK in a retrospective reduction using Occult 4, but there is an offset of 0.2" arc. This could be caused by an error in the reported location using the Ordinance Survey (Datum OSGB36). The quality of the timings and attention to detail indicate a good set of observations.
where was the observing site?
Lat 53 36 30"N; Long 2 47 30" W
Organiser Tim Haymes: Single station. 2 contacts
There was only
one graze predicted for the Southern UK in 1987. This was a 6.5 mag
star after full Moon. Phase was -58% so the star would approach from
the bright side, Northern limit. A friend of mine - Jack
Smith - who was observing occultations for the JAS, had some
predictions obtained from Norman Wright
(JAS Occultation Director). I plotted these and found a car
park on Small Dean Lane off the A4010 near Bradenham.
Two times for
the South components was taken: No graze phenomena were seen. The star
was hidden for 4min 42s.
This is the tape recording converted to MP4 <play audio>
The event was reported in retrospect in 2017, since it was not in the Occult database. The Occult 4 reporting page was used to send a digital report, and a reduction was received within a matter of days.
Timing was by audio announcement on the tape recording with continuous 1pps radio time signal (MSF Rugby). A quartz analogue clock synced to UT was used to identify the minute marker. PE was applied 1.0s. I was reading out BST on the tape for some reason.
J A Burger of Norwood Rd, Effigham observed this 6.5 mag star (SAO 146752) graze at the 17% illuminated Moon (S cusp), using an 8 1/2 inch F6 spec, x125. Details were reported in TA 1988-06. A short R-D of 7.8s was recorded on tape with Y3S time signal. (callsign for DIZ Germany 4523 kHz). This observation was not recorded in the IOTA database and has been re-submitted following contact with John.
Google Earth prediction
Organiser: Bert Carpenter,
This was a 7th mag star close the the Pleiades, grazing the Northern Cusp at 0147 UT. The Moons Alt/Az was +15 @ 069, phase 22%, so observable. Bert was a well known enthusiast of graze occultations living in Kent. I was invited to join the team by the Andrew Elliott who had observed in Bert's graze teams on other occasions. I was at position 4.
H.Carpenter, R.Pickard, G.Bond,
T.Haymes, A Thomas, A
Elliott that I knew, and some others.
The Instrument was a 8" F/6 Newtonian on Fullerscope Mk III EQ with manual slow motions. Timing with AudioTape and MSFcontinuous signal. Eyepiece 19mm. A PE of typically 0.5s was applied.
There was no lighting and we were asked to sketch the position of our telescope with reference to nearby land marks (e.g.so-many-yards from: Road/Fence/House etc). The position of my telescope was revealed by the ILOC reduction. The organiser deduced the Long/Lat based on his survey and reports received. Each observer made his way home to analyse the recording later. I sent these results in the ILOC format to Andrew, who forwarded them to Bert, who forwarded all results to ILOC in Japan with a copy to Alan Wells (BAA Lunar Section - occultations)
For this summary page I was able to pinpoint the remote house on Google Earth using the OSGB location by conversion of coordinates. At this particular graze I recorded 14 contacts by the usual method of tape recorder and continuous radio time signal. However the report says "Clock (adjusted by standard time signal). The PE was 0.5 sec applied. Fourteen contacts is my personal best for visual observation. They look very good on the Occult Limb plot
Elliott - four or five stations ?
passage generated several graze paths over the UK. Two intersected near
Hurstbourne Tarrant within 35 mins:
Instrument: 20cm F6 Newtonian on Fullerscope Mk-III mount, undriven. Eyepieces 18mm and 10mm. The magnification used for ZC 562 was x120, recording with a SHARP battery operated tape recorder and continuous time signal from Rugby 60Kz (Home made reciever). The minute marker anouncements were provided by quartz analogue clock sychronised with UT.
The observing site had been selected so that we could observe both grazes from the same location.The Moon was 48% at Az 220, alt 55 degrees - favourable circumstances. On the night however there were showers and a cold wind that buffeted the telescope. My instrument was set up in the driveway of Doyley Manor Farm (MAP). I recall making one observation in cloud of ZC557, but this was too uncertain in these conditions. No observations were reported for either event. (or they had been lost in transit).
Addendum 2017 Oct 4 : I have found the tape recording of these observations ! This was digitised with Audacity using an *ION TAPE-2-GO tape drive; and the observations extracted. It confirms that fast moving broken cloud (gusting wind) spoiled the first graze for ZC557. The second graze was more successful and 6 contacts were recorded for ZC562 with certainty before a large cloud intervened. The times were extracted from the voice recording (see above) which also gave the name and locality of my observing site, for without this, the observations would have been useless.
With the aid of the on-line OS maps (https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/51.29180,-1.44084,16) I was able to find the farm house where the telescope was set up beside the road in the Farm's driveway. The correct spelling of "Doyley" was critical. Then with Google Earth I established the exact coordinates and height. With all the info to hand i have completed a digital report for submission to IOTA graze collector in Japan, Mr M. Soma, and Dave Herald in Australia.
A good ending to the mystery that sarrounded the second graze event. [ Original reports were lost ].
Tim Haymes and Martin Burger.
I arrived at about midnight and set up in the large car park. Some young drivers were using the area to do hand-break-turns, so I kept a low profile. After they had departed leaving a cloud of dust, I assembled the 8" F/6. Shortly afterwards the Police in a Panda Car arrived to check the car park and asked me if was OK and had i seen anything? I said i had, and the Police gave chase leaving me to observe. Then another car arrived and parked on the far side of the car park about 30m away. I could hear a faint beeping sound that reminded me of a 1 sec pulse!!
The Instrument was a 8" F/6 Newtonian on Fullerscope Mk III EQ with manual slow motions. Timing with AudioTape and MSFcontinuous signal. Eyepiece 19mm .
When my own observation was completed I walked over to investigate the faint beepinf sound, and discovered Martin Burger (Reading AS) had selected the same car park independently to observe the graze. He also reported no event. Neither of us submitted formal reports though, and my original report is lost.
Haymes, 5 stations planned, 2 contacts
80 Vir was predicted in the BAAH to be occulted by -61% Moon at Az 178, Alt 30d. The star is magnitude 5.7. The track was requested from Andrew Elliott the Lunar Section coordinator and stalwart of Reading AS. The plotted track passed close to Maidenhead and members of both Reading and Maidenhead Societies were interested in observing it, however the time was at 0500UT, a rather unsociable hour. Although I had scouted out a number of locations at the Berkshire Agricultural College (I spoke to the Principal) at Burchetts Green (see map), in the end, only one observer was active and I was located near the Robin Hood Pub at the N corner of the Pinkneys Green.
The Instrument was a 8" F/6 Newtonian on Fullerscope Mk III EQ with manual slow motions. Timing with AudioTape and MSFcontinuous signal. Eyepiece 19mm. A PE of 0.5s was applied.
The writer timed ingress and egress 0512, 32.0s and 0515, 03.5s without any graze contacts. Positions were derived from 1:25,000 scale OS map (4cm = 1 Km)
Tim Haymes: Single observer
position [ observed from home] UTube
The time insertion was a one-pulse per second GPS video overlay unit, the GPSBOXSPRITE2. The video was recorded on digital tape using a Sony DCR-TRV22E in its AV-in mode. The tape recording could be converted to AVI through a FireWire Express Card slot. via the import function of MovieMaker. The AVI was played back one field at a time using TANGRA software.
The kappa Aqr graze was the
first to be recorded with video by this UK observer.
On 1989 Aug 17, Andrew teamed up with IOTA observer Dr Eberhard Bredner to observe the graze occultation of ZC3177 during a Total Lunar Eclipse. Four contacts were recorded by video at 0220UT from a location in Worcester, UK . This was the subject of a presentation by Alex Pratt at ESOP35
Steve Ringwood and four observers recorded 6 contacts (one reappearance) in difficult conditions of poor seeing (Ant iv), bright limb(69% ill) and faint star (mag 7.2). One observer had technical problems and didn't time the event which was at 2135 UT. The cusp angle was 4.1 degrees.
Members of LAS selected the event from the BAAH 2014. The instruments were at home locations in the graze path (S Limit): 12" F/10 ACF, 10" F/10 SCT, 132mm ED refractor, 120mm ED refractor, and a 200mm F6.3 SCT. The report was checked by Tim Haymes (BAA Lunar Section) and sent to Dave Herald for inclusion in the Occult4 database. The reduction was by the the Global Graze Coordinator Mitsuru Soma (Jp)
Details are presented in the BAA Journal: JBAA Vol 125, No1 p9 [2015 Feb] "A successful lunar graze observation by a local society".
Tim Haymes: Single observer position with video. UTube 4 contacts
This was a somewhat unusual event. I was interested in faint stars occulted during this eclipse. On SkyMapPro 11 one star stood out, not very bright at mag 9.2. It was close to the Northern Edge of the Umbra. I searched with Occult-4 and found the star grazing near Midhurst in Sussex. Benbow Pond was selected because of good access away from the road, a clear horizon and hard standing. The location was a few hundred meters inside the mean limb limit with was the possibility of 4 or 6 contacts. There was no site survey and I turned up on the night based on map info hoping the gate was open. (it was)
The night (early morning) was clear and the air still but with some atmospheric turbulence. Some ducks kept me company at 3am in the morning. There was danger of dew or mist ( temp was +5C) and I rushed the equatorial set up. With the Barlow in place, the Eclipsed Moon was drifting down. Not the best polar alignment. I have taken more care since.
The instrument was a 203mm F/4 LXD55 with 2x Barlow and WAT-910HX at 25 fps, Gain 38dB plus the usual timing and video.
Because of the dimness of the star I used a frame integration of 0.04s. (25fps) and higher gain setting. The Moon was at an elevation of 30 degrees. The DEC drift continued down, but in the end the graze was recorded before dew formed on the corrector plate. ( I had a dew shield). From the graze profile it looked as though I would see short blink through a valley.This didn't happen.
Location.....................Limb...................Light Curve.......Profiles compared....Reduction........ Data.......
Tim Haymes: Single observer position with video. UTube of 81 Tau [A second position was planned for Peter Hainsworth] 13 contacts
Dr.Eberhard Riedel (IOTA-ES) released a new version of his graze preparation software available here. GRAZPREP can be used to estimate the number of graze contacts at a given position in Long and Lat. The software was used for this event. Thus the village of South Leigh was found to be 2.30 Km inside the limb. I used the Church Hall car park with permission and 12 or more contacts were expected.
203mm F/4 LXD55 with x2 ED Barlow, WAT 910HX at 50fps, gain 7dB, GPSBOXSPRITE2,
and Sony TRV22E recorder.
Despite a very poor forecast (100% cloud) I drove for 45 mins to the site. I was rewarded to see the cloud thinning, so I set up, and 10 min before the graze, the Moon passed into a clear patch and a recording was obtained in good conditions. The observation is reported in JBAA 2017 April (Vol 127, No.2 Page 115).
Location...................GRAZPREP profile....Moon..............Light curve.............Occult4 plot
Tim Haymes: Single observer position with video. The event was advertised in my local AS.
This is the second graze of 2017 optimised with GRAZPREP. The Nature Center car park (Bray Wick, Maidenhead) was 1600m inside the Northern limit and 10 or 12 contacts were expected. However the most interesting aspect of this occultation was the double star involved. What would be observed?
203mm F/4 LXD55, with x2 ED Barlow (2"), WAT-910HX at 25 fps, gain
10dB, GPSBOXSPRITE2-U and Sony TRV22E recorder. Temperature: +10C
All together a most interesting event.
Next event awaited...