Popular Astronomy

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It More...

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 - Eclipsing Binary predictions : 2017 Nov-Dec

Here are predictions for eclipses that are reasonably favourable from the UK during November and December:

Times are in UT (same as GMT)

RZ Cassiopeiae

Eclipses last 4.8h, with most of the brightness changes taking place during the middle 3 hours. The times shown below are for the mid-point of the primary eclipses. Eclipses are not quite total, so there is no spell of constant brightness at mid eclipse.

Date Mid-Eclipse (UT)
Nov  1 0.6h
Nov  5 19.3h
Nov  7 0.0h
Nov 11 18.7h
Nov 12 23.4h
Nov 17 18.2h
Nov 18 22.9h
Nov 23 17.6h
Nov 24 22.3h
Nov 30 21.7h
Dec  2 2.4h
Dec  6 21.1h
Dec  8 1.8h
Dec 12 20.6h
Dec 14 1.2h
Dec 18 20.0h
Dec 20 0.7h
Dec 24 19.4h
Dec 26 0.1h
Dec 30 18.9h
Dec 31 23.6h
   

U Cephei

Eclipses of U Cephei, though still occurring well into the night, gradually become better placed for observers in the UK.  By mid-December, mid eclipse is occurring near midnight and so the fade into eclipse will be observable from mid evening onwards. 

Eclipses last for approx 9 hours. The times shown below are for the primary eclipse mid-point. Eclipses are total, so there is a period of constant brightness around the middle of the eclipse.

Date Mid-Eclipse (UT)
Nov  4 3.0h
Nov  9 2.7h
Nov 14 2.3h
Nov 19 2.0h
Nov 24 1.7h
Nov 29 1.3h
Dec  4 1.0h
Dec  9 0.7h
Dec 14 0.3h
Dec 19 0.0h
Dec 23 23.7h
Dec 28 23.3h
   

 

U Coronae Borealis

Corona Borealis is now only briefly visible at the start of the evening.  It is, however, becoming increasingly visible in the pre-dawn sky.  Both intervals of observability are, of course, far too short for the whole eclipse to be observable in one session, but parts of the fade/brightening will still be observable..

Eclipses last for approx 12 hours. The times shown below are for the primary eclipse mid-point.  Eclipses are not total, so there is no spell of constant brightness around the middle of the eclipse.

Date Mid-Eclipse (UT)
Nov 16 21.4h
Nov 23 19.1h
Nov 30 16.8h
   
Nov 27 5.9h
Dec  4 3.6h
Dec 11 1.4h
   
Dec 28 7.6h
   

Beta Lyrae

Beta Lyrae is best placed for observation in the evening sky for most of this period, but by the end of the year is better placed in the pre-dawn sky.

Both the deeper primary eclipse and the less deep secondary eclipse can be followed visually.  There is no period of constant brightness between eclipses.

Date Mid-Eclipse (UT)
Nov  3-4 primary
Nov 10-11 secondary
Nov 16-17 primary
Nov 23-24 secondary
Nov 29-30 primary
Dec 6-7 secondary
Dec 12-13 primary
Dec 18-19 secondary
Dec 25-26 primary
   

Beta Persei (Algol)

Algol is well placed for observation for most of the night.

Eclipses last for approx 10 hours. The times shown below are for the primary eclipse mid-point. Eclipses are only partial, so there is no period of constant brightness around the middle of the eclipse.

Date Mid-Eclipse (UT)
Nov  8 4.3h
Nov 11 1.1h
Nov 13 21.9h
Nov 16 18.8h
   
Dec  1 2.8h
Dec  3 23.7h
Dec  6 20.5h
Dec  9 17.3h
   
Dec 24 1.4h
Dec 26 22.2h
Dec 29 19.0h
   
 

Added by: Tracie Heywood