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 Russia, Greenland, eastern Canada and Sweden 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 San Diego.

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
(UTC)
Russia 08:12–10:16
Greenland 07:39–09:15
Canada 07:18–09:09
Sweden 08:00–09:26
Norway 07:54–09:32
France 07:31–08:44
Finland 08:13–09:30
Mongolia 09:38–10:16
Spain 07:19–08:19
Germany 07:47–09:01
Poland 08:02–09:08
Great Britain 07:31–08:54
Svalbard 08:20–09:29
Belarus 08:20–09:18
Iceland 07:47–08:57
Kazakhstan 09:24–09:59
Italy 07:49–08:35
Ireland 07:30–08:45
Ukraine 08:25–09:02
Latvia 08:13–09:19
Czechia 07:59–08:51
Portugal 07:16–08:14
Lithuania 08:13–09:14
Austria 07:54–08:43
Estonia 08:14–09:23
Denmark 07:54–09:04
Morocco 07:19–07:50
Slovakia 08:12–08:47
Netherlands 07:44–08:53
Switzerland 07:47–08:37
Belgium 07:43–08:46
Northern Ireland 07:36–08:46
Hungary 08:14–08:38
Slovenia 08:08–08:30
The Canary Islands 07:02–07:32
Faroe Islands 07:48–08:57
Luxembourg 07:47–08:44
Shetland 07:50–08:59
The Portuguese Azores 07:01–08:01
Aland Islands 08:12–09:17
Orkney 07:47–08:56
Mallorca 07:47–08:00
Svalbard and Jan Mayen 08:04–09:23
Isle of Man 07:39–08:45
Andorra 07:37–08:16
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 07:19–08:10
Jersey 07:35–08:36
Guernsey 07:34–08:36
Ibiza 07:43–07:58
Gibraltar 07:24–07:52
Liechtenstein 07:54–08:36
Monaco 07:52–08:20
Madeira 07:04–07:47
The Savage Islands 07:05–07:35
Isla de Albor├ín 07:34–07:45

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 04h17m20s 18°30'N Taurus -4.3 0'51"

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 29 Dec 2019 Occultations of Venus 12 Dec 2020 12 Dec 2020
18 Feb 2020 18 Mar 2020 Occultations 29 Jul 2020 22 Sep 2020

The sky on 19 Jun 2020

The sky on 19 June 2020
Sunrise
05:38
Sunset
19:59
Twilight ends
21:41
Twilight begins
03:56

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

2%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:56 13:56 20:55
Venus 04:19 11:12 18:04
Moon 04:25 11:32 18:45
Mars 00:49 06:40 12:30
Jupiter 21:39 02:44 07:48
Saturn 21:58 03:07 08:15
All times shown in PDT.

Source

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

25 Mar 2020  –  Venus at highest altitude in evening sky
13 Aug 2020  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
29 Aug 2020  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
29 Oct 2021  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

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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