A Lunar Graze Occultation History by Tim Haymes (UK)
observing from 1972 to present.


This history is 95% complete. I will add more events as they are reported.

Table of events on this page:

1972-03-19 20 Tauri: [#Chinnor] organised by T. Haymes
1974-10-21 Xi Sag : 7 contacts [#Petworth Sussex]
1974-12-24 ZC 348: 1 ingress DD [#Marlow ]
1976-06-21 ZC 146: 1 egress RD [#Appleton ]
1977-04-26 ZC1318: 9 contacts [#Overton ] organised by G. Amery
1978-08-26 Aldebaran: 8 contacts [Scotland - Dam Wall] #Aldebaran organised by Dr. D. Gavine
1979-01-26 ZC0308: 2 contacts (ingress/egress) [ #Chilgrove ,Sussex] organised by A. Thomas
1979-04-30 ZC 934: 1 egress RD [#Burghclere ] organised by M. Ratcliffe
1985-08-12 ZC 869: 4 contacts [#Wellington] organised by J.Trott
1987-09-14 ZC 701: 2 contacts ( Dbl* ) [ nr High #Wycombe]
1990-07-18 S76259: 14 contacts [#Shipbourne, Kent] organised by H. Carpenter
1991-02-21 ZC 562: bad weather [#Hurstbourne -Tarrant ] organised by R. Fleet
1998-09-12 ZC 635: Miss [#Cobham, Surrey ]
2000-01-27 80 Virgo: 2 contacts (ingress/egress) [#Pinkneys Green, Maidenhead ] organised by T. Haymes
2012-09-29 kapa Aquari: 6 contacts allmost Full Moon from #Home [ VIDEO
]
2015-09-28 SAO109080: 4 contacts during Total Lunar #Eclipse [VIDEO]
2017-02-05 81 Tau: 13 contacts from #SouthLeigh Oxfordshire [VIDEO]
2017-08-16 ZC672: dbl* 8 contacts from #BrayWick Maidenhead [VIDEO]

Some failed events
Read a list containing planned events effected by weather

 

Introduction

I was aware of a phenomenon where a star apparently brushes past mountains on the edge of the Moon, but had never seen it. Then in 1972 an occultation in the Pleiades cluster presented an ideal opportunity. The bright star 20 Tauri was predicted to graze the Northern cusp of the crescent Moon. An ideal situation suitable for the small telescopes we had. The Moon in March would also be high in the sky with Earth Shine. The prediction was published in the 1972 British Astronomical Association Handbook.

I had not yet joined the Association but I was a member of the Junior Astronomical Society (JAS) and was observing total occultations directed by Norman Wright. I purchased the BAA Handbook as a non member (then 55p). In1972 a page devoted to graze predictions was included thanks to involvement of Gordon Taylor the Computing Section Director, who worked at HM Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO). I requested the graze details.

1972-Mar-19: The 20 Tau graze at Chinnor, Oxfordshire

. . .
Prediction OS 6" CHINNOR Watts Limb profile View that night Letter from NAO - - -

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 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. Mid-time was about 2005 UT

We were an enthusiastic team of four from the Maidenhead Astronomy Group, equipped 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.

Tim H.......................6" reflector ( 150m inside the N Limit)
Margaret P..........(binoculars?)
Peter H ....................6" reflector
Miranda B........... 2.5" refractor

Having set up near well land-marked positions over a distance of 1000 yards (with the aid of a 6" to Mile OS) we asked the question "How are we going to start our watches?" Well, I had not planned this, and there was no public telephone box to dial TIM (Speaking clock) so the only option was to knock on a few doors in the hope of finding an obliging resident. We received a few strange looks, and then decided on a more "professional approach". We explained we were about to make some observations of the Moon for the Nautical Almanac Office. This worked, and we started our stop watches on the PIPS - taking careful notes. I don't know the name of the guy now - but we were most greatful for the use of his telephone.

To cut a long story short, there was no occultation ! We were quite surprised. 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 was 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 undampened - it had been a beautiful clear evening. I vowed not be thwarted by a lack of time signal in the future. ( I build a 60KHz MSF radio receiver in 1976)




1974 Oct 21: The Graze of Xi Sag (ZC2759) near Petworth, Sussex

. . .
Observing set-up in 1974 Google Earth imagery 30 years on Date taken from Occult4 with O-C Timings plotted on the LRO-LOLO limb Original Report and O-C - - -

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 collegue for £80.

Equipment was: 6" F/8 Alt Az, two stopwatches (rated), one tape recorder (fresh batteries), and a medium-wave radio tuned to the 6-o-clock news. Both watches would be started at the first ingress. One watch was stopped to time the tape duration, and the other was stopped on the 6pm time signal broadcast. Replaying the tape several times and timing the replay gave a measure of the event times and a time correction to apply.

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)

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)........................................................................O-C...........#Events
RGO Code2 = -0 38 58.0, +50 59 12.0, 30m ( from OSGB and DOS computer program).....+0.2 +/-0.5...........7.....
WGS84 ........= -0 39 07.0, +50 59 14.0, 36m ( from Google Earth)........................................+0.1 +/- 0.2



1974-Dec-24: Graze of ZC348 near Marlow (Trig Point) at 2345 UT
[HIP 11075]

Organiser: Tim Haymes, single position, observer and recorder.

I teamed up with Eddie Moore of Reading AS, to observe a 6.8 mag star at 79% lunar phase. He 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 Christmas-Eve and traffic was very light. We stopped at the side of the road and I jumped the low hedge-row, passing Eddie's 80mm Refractor. Conditions were hazy. An 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 was delicious though!

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)...................................................................O-C......#Events
RGO Code2 = -0 47 27.0, +51 35 30.0,.130m ( from OSGB and DOS computer program).... +1.78 ........1
WGS84 ........= -0 47 33.3, +51 35 31.9, 130m ( from Google Earth)........................................+ 2.57



1976-June-21: Graze of ZC146 near Appleton, Oxford.
[HIP 4906]

. . .
Prediction by H.-J Bode OS map showing Trig Point Sketch from my Log NAO reduction 1945 GE image showing the Trig Point not seen on later images - - -

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 project to build an MSF 60 KHz receiver with the help of an electronics degree student Doug Boit who helped me tune the circuit. The radio receiver was used to time the 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 Limb. From my observing site near a tree I set up the 6" but failed to find the star at first on the bright limb, but 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.

Finding 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).

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)...................................................................O-C.......#Events
RGO Code2 = -1 21 1.5", +51 43 18.0,.100m ( from OSGB and DOS computer program).....
+2.28.........1
WGS84 ........= -0 21 7.0", +51 43 20.0, 102m ( from Google Earth).......................................+1.97



1977-04-26: GRAZE of 50 Cnc (ZC1318) at Overton near Basingstoke
[HIP 43121]


OS map............6" to Mile......Predictions.......Locations......Reported times....Reduction p1.....Reduction P2.......All observers...


Graphical plot ........Google Earth 2017...Occult O-C.......Limb profile LRO-LOLA.........All Observers

Organised by Geoff Amery, nine positions

Observers: G Amery, A Thomas, E Moore, (D Ferguson+C Wilson), (T Haymes+L Smith+ P Hunt), (J Trott+ R Bradbury), (F Gear+ B Davies), (M Ratcliffe+Goodenough+Topley) ,(C Morse+D Smith)

This occultation of 50 Cnc was organised by Geoff Amery and the Reading AS. A group of Maidenhead members (inc. myself) took up two positions, one single and one double occupancy. There were nine positions in all. An Amateur Radio Club provided secondary standard radio time signals to the stations via some sort of short-range transmitter. I dont have the detail but it worked. I used my own MSF 60 Hz receiver and submitted 9 events, but on re-examination this should have been 10. One time is missing from the report. (See Limb Profile from Occult4 ).

The graze was predicted in the BAAH 1977 (entry no 6), passing NW-SE from N Ireland, through Wales down to the South Cost near Eastbourne. The Moon was 55% sunlit and it was a Northern limit at roughly 2330UT, cusp angle 3.4 degrees.

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)...................................................................O-C ...................#Events
RGO Code2 = -1 13 51", +51 15 2.0",.150m ( from OSGB and DOS computer program) . ...+0.16 +/- 0.04" .........9
WGS84 ........= -1 13 55.3", +51 15 04.6, 96m ( from Google Earth).......................................+0.01 +/- 0.05" .......10 ?



1978-08-26: GRAZE of Aldebaran (ZC692) near Inverness
[alpha Tauri]

Organiser Rob McNaught: five positions

Observers: (T Haymes+D Gavine), D Taylor, R McNaught, M Fodor, (P Ferguson+D Ferguson)

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:

David Gavine (Fort Augustus), Robert McNaught (Dundee, 10x80 bins), Dave Taylor (Dundee, 112mm refl), Martin Fodor (79mm OG). Pat and Don Ferguson (112mm refl ) A report was written in the Lunar Section Circular 1978-Dec, and the JOA

Aldebaran Cine Film Project
The equipment consisted of my 6" F8 reflector on Alt-Az mount, an 80mm refractor mounted along side ( loaned by Peter Hunt, Bray Nurseries, Berks.) a Kodak Super 8mm Cine camera (also on lone), tape recorder, MSF 60KHz radio receiver (home made), an amplifier, and 100ft of 3-core wire to feed the time signal to a second station.

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.

Logistics on the night?
After some discussion it was decided that David Gavine would be my co-observer using the 80mm (3") refractor. He would be the visual observer at our station. I had a finder on the 6" and I would adjust the Alt-Az to keep the Moon in view while the cine camera was running. When Dave announced the first ingress, I would start the camera. At the same time the tape recorder was recording, and MSF was bleeping one pulse/sec. A wristwatch would be used to identify minute markers.

Observing Locations
This was a bit hap-hazard (if I recall) since there were no sites pre-identified. However it soon became clear that the Dam across Lock Clounie was a good site. It was straight, with a commanding view to the SE, and relatively short drive away on the A87. When we arrived we had to climb over the low fencing to get access to the Dam which was illuminated by the silvery light of the Moon. Myself, David Gavine and Dave Taylor carried out stuff along the Dam wall to a position about 2/3rd the way along. Dave Taylor was 100ft North of us - the length of the wire we brought to feed the audible time signal to him.

On the night, radio reception was poor owing to the mountain to the South, but it was good enough.

Did it work?
Yes, we got film and recordings. The first ingress was followed by what seemed to be along interval before the egress. This was a worry at the time, since I was exposing my 3 min of film, and that-was-that if it ran out. In the event I recorded a deep fade at 0226 41s and eight contacts in all from 0224:20s to 0226:40s so there was a whole minute of film in reserve. There was no profile available from C.B.Watts charts so we were in the dark as far as what to expect. The film was digitised and combined with the audio tape in this Utube video

Reporting
In the Utube recording, listen out for David and our near simultaneous voice announcements, and in the background (100ft away) Dave Taylor calls out events he can see while the star is hidden from us. The time signal is clear and visual timings were reported to RGO. (see graphics above). No times were derived from the film which was use to record fade events.

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.

Positions
I have used the positions in the Occult4 archive and plotted them with Google Earth. There will be a difference of several minutes of arc between the OSGB and WGS84 datum (see graphics above) but it gives the general idea - in fact I didn't know the positions of the other team members until I wrote this page.

Analysis
Using Occult 4 and displaying the 1978 timings against the modern LRO-LOLA limb, there is good correspondence.

....................Observer.. O-C ...Range.....Contacts

....................D Gavine..-0.04 +/- 0.03.........8
.....................
D Taylor..+0.00 +/- 0.08........ 8
..............R McNaught...-0.15 +/- 0.15........ 4
......... ..........M Fodor....-0.5 ..+/- 0.45 ........3
...............P. Ferguson..-0.01 +/- 0.04.........4


1979-Jan-26: Graze of ZC308 near Chilgrove, Sussex. [HIP 9809]


OS Map..................Goole Earth for T.Haymes....Predictions...........Limb profile with jottings......Results P1...........Results P2......Plotting the chords.

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.


1979-04-30: Graze of ZC934 at Burghclere [HIP 29236]


Disused rail.........My position............. .Prediction........................Limb profile (no Watts)........O-C results................Google Earth 2107

Organiser; Martin Ratcliffe, Six stations
Observers reported: M Ratcliffe, T Haymes Observers not reporting: ?

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

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)..................................................................O-C ..............#Events
RGO Code2 = -1 19 42.0", +51 18 49.0", .0
m ( from OSGB and DOS computer program) ...-0.52 .... .............11 (RD)
WGS84 ........= -1 19 47.5", +51 18 51.0, 142m ( from Google Earth)......................................-0.11


1985-08-12: Graze of ZC869 observed in the grounds of Wellington College. [ Dbl* A 496, HIP 27110]


Summary........Transcript......Transcript cont/.................Approx Posn.........Graphical results......Contacts at the Limb (Occul4)

Organised by John Trott six staitions.
Observers reported: A Thomas, T Haymes, J Trott, S Turner, D Fergson. Observers not reported (Alan &Alistair low accuracy?)

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.


1987-09-14: Graze of ZC710 (dbl *) near HighWyombe. [STF 572, HIP 21619]


Description.........ILOC report...........Graze reduction from Japan.....The Star in Taurus-N Limit.... TEL/STN

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.

Now that I had the use of an 8" F/6 reflector on a Fullerscope EQ mount, it was transportable and useful for graze observing. On the night of the graze I set up at 3.30 am.and discovered the star was double with approximately equal components. The occultation from this station was of the Southern component.

Two times for one of the components was taken: No graze phenomena were seen. The star was hidden for 4min 42s
DD 0409, 55.3s
RD 0314, 37.8s

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 tape recording with continuous radio time signal (MSF Rugby). PE was applied 1.0s

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)................................................O-C ....................#Events
WGS84 ........= -0 48 38.0", +51 41 01.0, 145m ( from Google Earth)....................+0.08 +/- 0.04" ....... 2


1990-07-18:Graze of SAO76259 from Shipbourne, Kent.


Shipbourne...............Remote House..............Timings.................Occult limb plot.14 events..........SMP view

Organiser: Bert Carpenter, six stations (may be more)
Observers H Carpenter. R Pickard, G Bond, T Haymes, A Thomas, A Elliott [also: Hemming, Midwinter, Whiting, Strachen, Barry, Howarth, Gough]

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.

Observers were: H.Carpenter, R.Pickard, G.Bond, T.Haymes, A Thomas, A Elliott, and some others.

The MO was to arrive at a meeting point using an address and OS map, and then leave in convoy, dropping observers off at predetermined locations. There was a lot of planning involved which included the distribution of information by Bert to householders in the neighbouhood, and informing the Police. Soms sites were on private land with owner's permission. My location for this event was in a field opposite a remote house (or so it seemed at the time). I had 30min to set up, somewhat less than I would have liked, but this was OK for visual obs.

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 (if after closing time) to analyse the recording. 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 (MSF Rugby 60 KHz second tone). 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


1991-02-21 Graze of ZC562 at Hurstbourne-Tarrant [Pleiades Double Graze]


Prediction ..................Sky View........................Dual tracks near Upton.... Profile for ZC562

Organiser: Richard Fleet - four or five stations ?
Observers: R Fleet, T Haymes et al

This Pleiades passage generated several graze paths over the UK. Two intersected near Hurstbourne Tarrant within 35 mins:
ZC 557 1852 UT mag 7.0 CA 2N
ZC 562 1919 UT mag 6.6 CA 3N

Sites were selected by Richard so that we could observe both grazes from the same location.The Moon was 48% at Az 220, alt 55. Very good conditions. On the night however there were showers and a cold wind that buffeted the telescopes. My instrument was set up in the driveway of a local resident. I recall making one observation in cloud, but this was too uncertain in these conditions.

No observations to report for either event. This was unfortunate since both stars were double and grazing a complex lunar limb. The effect would have been awesome.


1998-09-12: Graze of ZC635 at Cobham Common, Surrey [ gamma Tau, HIP 20205 ]


Cobham 1999 images.....Occult Limb................Sky map View

Tim Haymes and Martin Burger. MISS

This was a great opportunity to observe a double star graze. Gamma Tauri (Mag 3.9) is well known, however the observing site was not in the graze zone. This was a Northern limit with the main component being at the mean line and the other1.5Km inside according to the limb profile. I was 500m South of the limit. One of the components of the double should have been occulted but nothing was seen. The Moon was -61% sunlit. The graze time was 0040 Hrs UT

I arrived at about midnight and set up in the large car park. Some drivers were using the area to do hand-break-turns, so I kept 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 what was going on, 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.


2000-01-27, Graze of ZC1950 at Pinkneys Green, Maidenhead [80 Vir, HIP 66320]


Prediction ......limb profile.....planning letter....observers....OS Map.....Site of TimH...site sketch....Occult Archive..........Plotted in Occult

Organiser: Tim Haymes, 5 stations planned, 2 contacts
Observers reporting: T Haymes: Possible observer: M Burger, G Bond, R Fleet, A Elliott

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 typically 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)

DATUM. ..........Long..............Lat...............Ht (MSL)..............................................O-C ....................#Events
WGS84 ........= -0 45 38.6", +51 32 17.6, 77m ( from Google Earth)....................-0.01 +/- 0.01" ....... 2


2012-09-27 Graze of kappa Aqu recorded with video


limb profile with events.........Reduction........................Video frame at the start with limb profile superimposed.

Tim Haymes: Single observer position [ observed from home] UTube 4 contacts

I was using Occult4 to generate graze data for the BAA. The Google Earth file showed I was within the graze zone for kappa Aquari. It's very unusual for a home location to be in such a good position. The event was successfully recorded at 2355 UT with the Moon near full (95%). Four contacts were timed, the first DD, the second RB, then two further bright limb event which were timed as best I could from the video frames. The reduction shows a large O-C for both bright limb events indicating difficult conditions for reliable times.

The Instrument was a 30cm F/4 Newtonian and WAT-120N+ video camera operating at 25fps.

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 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 above graze was the first to be recorded with video by this UK observer.

Andrew J Elliott was the first English observer to use video to record total and graze occultations. He used a WATEC 902H (25 fps) and a Mitsubishi time and date generator (TDG). He recommended i buy the same TDG. This was a quartz crystal controlled unit that was synchronised manually to an MSF time pulse. Since there was an inevitable small time difference been the TDG and UT, this could be compensated by videoing the MSF pulse LED. Andrew's observation of the Romney Marsh graze with Bert Carpenter (ZC 1216, 1990-April-30 ) and the graze at
Shipbourne both used video with a reported accuracy of 0.2sec. The 1990 grazes were observed by Andrew with his 25 cm SCT.

On 1989 Aug 17, Andrew teamed up with IOTA observer Dr Eberhard Bredner to observe the graze occultation of ZC3177 which occurred 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


2015-09-28 During Total Lunar Eclipse - SAO 109080 Magnitude 9.2


Prediction........ ..Moon SMP......Occult4 profile...........Location............Graze frames.........Imaged............Reduction..........View from Benbow Pond

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. I turned up on the night based on map info.

The night (early morning) was clear and the air still but with some atmospheric turbulence. A few ducks kept me company at 3am in the morning. There was a mist rising ( 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.


2017-02-05 at South Leigh, Oxfordshire - 81 Tau Magnitude 5.5

Location.............Limb..............SkyMap............Light Curve....Profiles compared.......O-C Data...........Cloud passing

Tim Haymes: Single observer position with video. [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 4.03 can be used predict the number of graze contacts at a given position in Long and Lat; one of its many features. 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 a Church Hall car park with permission and 12 or more contacts were expected.

Instrument: 203mm F/4 LXD55 with x2 ED Barlow, WAT 910HX at 50fps, gain 7dB, GPSBOXSPRITE, and Sony TRV22E recorder.
Temperature: +5C

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).


2017-08-16 at Bray Wick, Maidenhead - ZC672 Magnitude 6.7

Location.............GRAZPREP profile....Moon..........Equipment......Light curve.....Preliminary O-C...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?

Instrument: 203mm F/4 LXD55, with x2 ED Barlow (2"), WAT 910HX at 25 fps, gain 10dB, GPSBOXSPRITE2-U and Sony TRV22E recorder.
Temperature: +10C


This was a morning event running into twilight with the Moon at 30 degrees elivation and 37% phase. The forecast was for high cloud which can have some transparency. Care was taken to get polar alignment. I needed a compass to locate the pole star which was then put close to the polar finder center. This was good enough and no significant declination shift resulted. At first the grazing star couldn't be seen in the eyepiece, but as transparency improved a little and the Moon became essentially clear of thicker cloud, the video camera picked it up. The seeing was now better than expected and the instrument recorded a flash and a step event at a Cusp Angle of 6 degrees. Four main contacts were detected, with 4 more from the companion star. See the light curve

All together a most interesting event.


Tim Haymes
BAA Lunar Section Occultation Coordinator.
Maidenhead and Reading AS
UK

Created Aug 2017


Observers passed away:

H -J. Bode (1946 -2017)
A.J. Elliott (1946-2010)
G.W. Amery (1928-2010)

H.J.T.Carpenter (1931-1998)
J. Trott ( ca 1995? )
H.N.D.Wright (1927-1991)