Popular Astronomy

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Finding Eclipse Predictions

Predictions for future eclipses of Eclipsing Binary stars can be found in a variety of locations:

 

SPA VSS programme stars

Predictions for some favourable eclipses of stars on the SPA VSS programme can be found in the Sky Diary section of the bi-monthly magazine Popular Astronomy

and on-line at 

http://www.popastro.com/skydiary/index.php

 

Choosing stars to follow on a particular night

Predictions listing eclipses for many different eclipsing variables can be found on the BAA VSS  web pages at

http://www.britastro.org/vss/dpredict.html

Separate monthly lists are provided for Algol type variables and for beta Lyrae type variables.

 

This example shows some of the predictions that were listed for Algol type variables for the night of 2015 Nov 3.

Times shown are in hours GMT, with values greater than 24 indicating a time after midnight.

For each star listed, the number in brackets is the predicted mid time of eclipse to the nearest hour. 

The numbers before and after the brackets show the hours between which the eclipse is observable, taking into account the hours of darkness and the altitude of the star in the sky.

 

 

Finding out when future eclipses of a particular star are due

Predictions for future eclipses of individual stars can be found on the website Mount Suhora Observatory, near Krakow, at

http://www.as.ap.krakow.pl/o-c/index.php3

On this website, select the relevant Constellation from the list provided and on the next page select the star for which you are interested.

Then page down to the Light Elements section and select the "Current Minima and Phase" link.

At the foot of the page then displayed, you will see a list of predictions for future eclipses of the star that you have selected.

The example output shown here was for eclipses of the star LY Aurigae during November 2015

Times shown are in GMT.

"pri" denotes a primary eclipse and "sec" denotes a (usually shallower) secondary eclipse.

Do bear in mind that although times are predicted to the nearest minute, the periods of eclipsing variables are continually changing.

Thus the actual mid eclipse time may differ from the "precise" value shown.

In any case, its best to avoid remembering the exact prediction as this could influence/bias your observations.