from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act of occulting or the state of being occulted.
- n. Astronomy The passage of a celestial body across a line between an observer and another celestial object, as when the moon moves between Earth and the sun in a solar eclipse.
- n. Astronomy The progressive blocking of light, radio waves, or other radiation from a celestial source during such a passage.
- n. Astronomy An observational technique for determining the position or radiant structure of a celestial source so occulted: a lunar occultation of a quasar.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object is hidden by another celestial object that passes between it and the observer when the nearer object appears larger and completely hides the more distant object
- n. , Describes the state of an imam that has been hidden by Allah.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The hiding of a heavenly body from sight by the intervention of some other of the heavenly bodies; -- applied especially to eclipses of stars and planets by the moon, and to the eclipses of satellites of planets by their primaries.
- n. The state of being occult.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of hiding or concealing, or the state of being hidden or concealed; especially, the hiding of one body from sight by another; specifically, in astronomy, the hiding of a star or planet from sight by its passing behind some other of the heavenly bodies. It is particularly applied to the eclipse of a fixed star by the moon.
- n. Figuratively, disappearance from view; withdrawal from notice.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. one celestial body obscures another
Astronomers refer to this phenomenon as an "occultation," taken from the Latin word occultÄre, which means "to conceal."
Essentially, this so-called occultation passed the shadow of Eris over the Earth.
This bending will cause the apparent occultation, that is, going behind the planet, to occur later than otherwise expected, and to exit from occultation prior to when otherwise expected.
The only way to gauge its size accurately was to wait for it to pass in front of a distant star, in what's known as an occultation.
An occultation occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.
This remarkable effect (called occultation - hence the sneaky blog post title), while it might seem rather mundane in some ways (although you're seeing the effect of an asteroid with your own eyes!) is extremely powerful in astronomy.
(A stellar occultation occurs when an intervening body -- in this case Titan -- blocks the light from a star).
The phenomenon illustrated is called the "occultation" of the planet.
Obviously an asteroid is too small to cover the Sun but because of proximity one will occasionally move directly in front of one of the stars in the night sky and block its light from our view, causing a stellar eclipse or 'occultation'.
In the finale, "occultation," elements of the first two movements are overlaid - an idea suggested by the mechanics of a solar eclipse.