occultation

occultation (ŏkˌəltāˈshən) [key], in astronomy, eclipse of one celestial body by another, e.g., when the moon lies between a star and the earth. Occultations of stars by the moon are important in astronomy. Since stellar positions are very accurately known, the time and position of an occultation can be used to determine the position of the moon. Alternatively, an observer can determine his or her longitude by comparing the time at which he observes an occultation with a table listing the universal time at which the occultation occurs.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on occultation from Fact Monster:

  • What does it mean? occultation - occultation -- Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format You're an amateur ...
  • occultism - occultism occultism , belief in supernatural sciences or powers, such as magic, astrology, alchemy, ...
  • Astronomical Terms - Astronomical Terms The Milky Way, the galaxy containing our solar system, is about 100,000 ...
  • Astronomical Terms - Astronomical Terms The Milky Way, the galaxy containing our solar system, is about 100,000 ...
  • January - January For terms in boldface, see Astronomical Terms. Day Phenomenon Hour 3 FULL MOON 1400 3 Earth ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Astronomy: General