Eclipse

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Running a computer simulation of the skies using 'Dance of the Planets' software*, led to the serendipitous discovery that there was a total eclipse of the moon during the 164 BCE visit of Halley's Comet.

On October 3rd the full moon went into eclipse as it rose,

Eclipse.jpg (48593 bytes)
 

As the moon darkened, the stars became more visible, and people would have been able to see fainter objects like the comet, which the moon's light would otherwise have diminished or drowned out.

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*arc science simulations, http://www.arc.com

Starry Night pro was used to create the videos and the conjunction picture
(Sienna Software inc., 284 Richmond Street East, Toronto, ON, M5A 1P4, CANADA)
(http://www.siennasoft.com)