The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Lunar occultation of Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Venus

The Moon will pass in front of Venus, creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Peru, Colombia, western Brazil and Bolivia amongst others. Although the occultation will only be visible across part of the world – because the Moon is so close to the Earth that its position in the sky varies by as much as two degrees across the world – a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from Ashburn.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Venus is visible (shown in red), and where its reappearance is visible (shown in blue). Solid contours show where each event is likely to be visible through binoculars at a reasonable altitude in the sky. Dotted contours indicate where each event occurs above the horizon, but may not be visible due to the sky being too bright or the Moon being very close to the horizon.

Map showing where the occultation is visible

Outside the contours, the Moon will not pass in front of Venus at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair will be visible across much of the world.

The map can be downloaded in PNG , PDF or SVG format. A KMZ file , is also available, which can be opened in Google Earth to provide a higher resolution map.

The animation below shows the path of the occultation across the Earth's globe. The red circle shows where the Moon appears in front of Venus.

You can download this video in MP4 or OGG format.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
Peru 18:52–20:08
Colombia 18:58–20:08
Brazil 18:58–20:06
Bolivia 19:03–19:58
Ecuador 18:46–20:08
Panama 19:07–19:59
Costa Rica 19:13–19:49
French Polynesia 15:49–18:01
Chile 19:16–19:37
Kiribati 15:13–16:43
Cook Islands 15:29–16:51
Kingman Reef 15:11–16:29
Palmyra Atoll 15:11–16:30
Pitcairn 16:51–18:23
Tuvalu 15:41–15:56
Baker Island 15:13–16:17
Howland Island 15:12–16:17
Jarvis Island 15:15–16:41
Johnston Atoll 15:15–16:08
Tokelau 15:32–16:16

Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a small fraction of the Earth's surface. Since the Moon is much closer to the Earth than other celestial objects, its exact position in the sky differs depending on your exact location on Earth due to its large parallax. The position of the Moon as seen from two points on opposite sides of the Earth varies by up to two degrees, or four times the diameter of the full moon.

This means that if the Moon is aligned to pass in front of a particular object for an observer on one side of the Earth, it will appear up to two degrees away from that object on the other side of the Earth.

The position of Venus at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Venus 17h43m10s 20°47'S Ophiuchus -4.3 0'19"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occultations

« Previous Next »
Visible from the Contiguous United States Worldwide Worldwide Visible from the Contiguous United States
07 Dec 2015 18 Sep 2017 Occultations of Venus 29 Dec 2019 12 Dec 2020
10 Jul 2018 16 Nov 2018 Occultations 02 Feb 2019 18 Feb 2020

The sky on 31 Jan 2019

The sky on 31 January 2019
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

25-day old moon
Waning Crescent


25 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:31 12:29 17:27
Venus 04:19 09:11 14:02
Moon 04:02 09:03 14:01
Mars 10:11 16:41 23:11
Jupiter 03:47 08:33 13:19
Saturn 05:45 10:31 15:17
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

06 Jan 2019  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
24 Mar 2020  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
26 Mar 2020  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
13 Aug 2020  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.





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