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

Lunar occultation of Sigma Sagittarii

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Nunki

The Moon will pass in front of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki), creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Gabon 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 Washington.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 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 Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 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.

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

Country Time span
(UTC)
Angola 03:39–04:44
Democratic Republic of the Congo 03:39–04:40
Cameroon 03:41–04:27
Gabon 03:39–04:33
Central African Republic 03:46–04:23
Namibia 03:47–04:43
Equatorial Guinea 03:40–04:28
Republic of the Congo 03:39–04:32
Sao Tome and Principe 03:43–04:30

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 Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 18h55m10s 26°17'S Sagittarius 2.1 0'00"

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
19 Aug 2021 06 Dec 2021 Occultations of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 26 Feb 2022 20 Jun 2027
03 Nov 2021 31 Dec 2021 Occultations 07 Feb 2022 19 Apr 2022

The sky on 29 Jan 2022

The sky on 29 January 2022
Sunrise
07:37
Sunset
17:55
Twilight ends
19:24
Twilight begins
06:07

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent

3%

27 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:39 11:47 16:55
Venus 05:30 10:42 15:54
Moon 05:33 10:18 15:03
Mars 05:28 10:13 14:58
Jupiter 08:59 14:31 20:03
Saturn 07:59 13:08 18:17
All times shown in MST.

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.

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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Washington

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37.13°N
113.51°W
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