Animation of the principle of the occultation

This video shows an occultation. The disc of a Solar System object, such as a dwarf planet, passes in front of a background star. The star abruptly vanishes behind the disc and later reappears, causing a clear drop in total brightness. By timing such occultations at different points on the Earth astronomers can work out the size and shape of distant bodies.


ESO/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:26 October 2011, 19:00
Related releases:eso1142
Duration:18 s

About the Object

Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Dwarf planet



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