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Stars play spooky, visible disappearing act with moon Tuesday

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Posted at 5:03 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 19:48:27-04

DENVER -- Tuesday night's sky will be the stage for a lunar show that's sure to deliver a spooky treat just before Halloween.

A lunar occultation is happening Tuesday night.

And no, that doesn't mean something supernatural is about to happen. An occultation is when one object appears to pass in front of another. 

In this case, if you look up at the night sky, you'll see the moon passing in front of a star — specifically, the star Aldebaran. It's the brightest star in the Taurus constellation. 

Aldebaran is usually pretty easy to locate because of its red color. Since the fiery-hued star forms Taurus' eye, it's often described as "glaring" at the nearby Orion constellation. 

The occultation will be visible here in Denver. 

While it's no meteor shower that requires you travel out to the mountains to see it (and while there will be clear skies through the night), light pollution still takes away from an otherwise fantastic viewing experience. 

Here are the places we recommend to see the moon occultation: 

  • Castlewood Canyon: Although the trails of the Canyon close to the public at 9 p.m., the general Canyon area is the perfect candidate to avoid light pollution. 
  • Rist Canyon near Fort Collins: Rist Canyon is a great candidate for stargazing -- and again, no could cover! 
  • Boulder Canyon: Getting away from the lights in Boulder might be trickier than it seems, but Boulder Canyon should be a great place to do so. 
  • Aurora Reservoir: Close to the metro area and picturesque, this location is far enough away from Denver and Aurora to have a spectacular view of the moon. 

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