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SCIENCE FILE

Star Tours

May 20, 1999

Astronomers want as many home videos as they can get of the moon's eclipse of the bright star Regulus on Friday, hoping to catch a picture of lunar craters and mountains. No telescopes are required, because this eclipse--technically and occultation--will be visible to the naked eye. In Los Angeles, Regulus will disappear at 9:11 p.m. and reappear on the other side of the moon at 9:49. Scientists at the International Occultation Timing Assn. are most interested in the very moment the moon snuffs out Regulus. By comparing times of occultation at various observation points on Earth, they will be able to calculate the size of the moon's craters and mountains. More information on the home video effort and instructions are available at the group's Web site: http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm.

Source: John Mosley, Griffith Observatory

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