Today:   Time of rise and set of Sun and Moon.
Predictions / Urgent Calls
for observation:
  Predictions of Asteroid Occultations for Europe (target stars brighter than 9 mag)
   ==> "Where to go, what to do, when to look" by Oliver Klös, IOTA/ES.
    Asteroid Occultations Updates / All events by Steve Preston.
    Beobachtungsvorhersagen (Forum der Vereinigung der Sternfreunde e.V.)
Gaia Occultations
on the Ecliptic:
  GOcEcl predictions for the current month (by Robert Purvinskis):
   ==> events after full moon (mostly before midnight)
   ==> events before full moon (mostly after midnight)
   ==> selected events for Switzerland and southern Germany
   ==> Maps of some interesting events for the next few months.
(The xml-files are used for application with Occult4   /   Instructions for use). 
Moon:   Grazing Stars brighter than 7.0 mag: GRAZPREP
Planets:   Occultations of Planets by the Moon (IOTA/ES).
Mutual Occultations of the Galilean Satellites of Jupiter:   Occultations of large Moons of Jupiter (IOTA/ES).
Mutual conjunctions
of the Planets
by Dave Herald:
Date: Time: Separ.: Elong.: Planets:
2021 Aug 19: 03:18 UT 4.2' 16e Mercury & Mars
2021 Dec 11: 13:36 UT 3.8' 35e Venus & Pluto
2022 Apr 12: 14:48 UT 6.0' 29w Jupiter & Neptune
2022 Apr 27: 19:12 UT 0.4' 43w Venus & Neptune
2023 Feb 15: 12:24 UT 0.7' 28e Venus & Neptune
2024 Apr 29: 04:30 UT 2.1' 40w Mars & Neptune
2024 Jun 04: 10:30 UT 6.8' 13w Mercury & Jupiter
2025 May 24: 23:24 UT 7.5' 6w Mercury & Uranus
2026 Mar 07: 11:24 UT 4.0' 14e Venus & Neptune
2026 Jul 04: 06:12 UT 6.3' 38w Mars & Uranus
2029 Mar 27: 21:30 UT 6.5' 2e Venus & Neptune


August 29/30, 2020:   This year, the 39th European Symposium on Occultation Projects (ESOP) took place online as a video conference. On average, over 100 participants were online. Besides participants from the EU, participants from Japan, Australia, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland, UK, USA, Argentina and Brazil were registered. Many presentations and all live recordings including discussion can be viewed here.
July 31, 2020:   The 2020 IOTA Annual Meeting was held as a virtual session on July 25/26. During these two days, about 27 lectures were presented. Also the DVTI Camera Project of Andreas Schweizer and Stefan Meister was mentioned in a honorable manner.
Please follow the links for the agenda, protocol and video lectures.
Dezember 20, 2019:   New archieve initiated: This website includes all reports, lightcurves and videos of stellar occultations, observed by SOTAS members. The observed events are sorted by year, then by date.
September 10, 2019:   New available in agenda: Occultation Calendar, especially for Switzerland, by Stefan Meister/SOTAS.
30/8 - 1/9 2019:   38th European Symposium on Occultation Projects (ESOP) at the famous Paris Observatory. From Switerland, five SOTAS members participated to this highly interesting event. In the historic Cassini Hall, Andreas Schweizer and Stefan Meister presented the Digital Video Time Inserter (DVTI) Camera Project.
February 05, 2019:   The occultation of the bright star named Rasalasad borealis (my Leonis, 3.4 mag) by the small 15 km asteroid (34339) 2000 QH218 should be very impressive: the expected magnitude drop was 14.0 mag! The shadow of the star was crossing Switzerland from East to the West. Unfortunately, several participating observatories were blocked by snow or stucked in the fog! That's why Stefan Meister moved the mobile equipment to the Hulftegg (950 m/msl) for observing the event. Although the observing place was located only 2.6 km north off the center line, the event was observed as a missed event.
More information and impressive pictures taken during this cold night you will find on the VdS forum or here:
December 20, 2018:   A new tool for the calculation of the combined brightness of two astronomical objects, standing close to each other, was created. If the apparent brightness of the two bodies are known, the excel sheet calculates the combined brightness and, more important, the drop of the brightness during the occultational event. The tool can be downloaded from here.
October 27, 2018:   The first meeting of the working group SOTAS was held in the Liceo cantonale in Bellinzona. Totally 16 "Occultazionisti" exchanged their experiences and discussed the coming projects. The successful event was very motivating for all participants.
Protocol,   Digital VTI,   Prepointing,   History,   1st observation in CH,   ESOP37-Review,   ESOP37-Lectures
May 13, 2018:   New: The Swiss Occultation Numbers, a monthly statistic about the observing activities of SOTAS members, was launched.
April 21, 2018:   Great success for SOTAS members: At 00:31 UT, the shadow of (130) Elektra, a 180 km asteroid, crossed Europe with center line directly along Switzerland. After good preparation works (workshop) and thanks to brillant weather conditions along the whole path, totally 9 (nine!) SOTAS stations recorded the disappearance and reappearance of the light of a 11.6 mag star. Eric Frappa (Euraster) arranged the chords and simulated the suitable model of the asteroid. Well done guys!
See the observations in detail...
Nov. 6, 2017:   Grazing occultation of Aldebaran by the moon: Between 03:14 and 03:18 UT, the star Aldebaran (alpha Tauri) was occulted in a grazing pattern caused by the limb profile of the moon. The observing path of this spectacular event passed Eglisau, a small town North of Switzerland. Stefan Meister prepared and organized an excellent observing campaign. Unfortunately, and once more, sky was clouded out during the interesting moments.
Oct. 5, 2017:   Star occultation by Triton: After an extra workshop and numerous previous successful tests, we all felt ready for the rare occultation event. Unfortunately, the weather was clouded out, stormy and/or rainy all over Switzerland exactly during the occultation event. Only one station reported an observation!
Summary and what we expected to see! Results
Sept. 18, 2017:   SOTAS has got a forum! Discuss your projects and stay informed. Register for automatic messages.
Special thanks to SAG for hosting the forum.
Sept. 16, 2017:   Meeting with workshop at the Observatory Bülach, considering the technics of recording and video time inserter. Goal: The participants are ready to record the occultation by Triton on Oct. 5, 2017.
Protocol  Script
June 2, 2017:   "3 - 2 - 1 - lift off" for the new working group! Let's occult!