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

Lunar occultation of Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Mars
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The Moon will pass in front of Mars, creating a lunar occultation visible from the Americas, Europe, western Russia, Northern Africa and eastern Alaska.

The occultation will be visible from San Diego. It will begin with the disappearance of Mars behind the Moon at 18:29 PST in the eastern sky at an altitude of 23.3 degrees. Its reappearance will be visible at 19:29 PST at an altitude of 35.7 degrees.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Mars 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 of the contours, the Moon does not pass in front of Mars at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair may be visible.

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)
Canada 18:42–05:13
Greenland 09:27–05:27
The Contiguous United States 02:31–04:42
Russia 08:31–05:51
Sweden 13:24–05:52
Mexico 17:22–03:28
Norway 13:19–05:49
France 19:14–06:08
Finland 13:22–05:41
Spain 19:12–06:09
Algeria 19:26–06:11
Germany 13:02–06:03
Alaska 15:38–03:56
Poland 13:00–05:58
Great Britain 19:12–06:01
Italy 13:27–06:10
Svalbard 12:57–05:11
Belarus 14:07–05:53
Iceland 12:41–05:38
Ukraine 21:07–05:58
Hungary 21:00–06:03
Ireland 19:10–05:58
Morocco 19:18–06:05
Latvia 14:02–05:47
Tunisia 20:36–06:11
Czechia 13:09–06:01
Portugal 19:13–06:05
Lithuania 12:55–05:49
Austria 13:21–06:04
Estonia 13:53–05:44
Denmark 12:58–05:54
Croatia 20:54–06:06
Slovakia 21:03–06:00
Bosnia and Herzegovina 20:56–06:06
Netherlands 13:08–06:00
Switzerland 13:22–06:05
Serbia 20:57–06:04
Romania 21:02–06:02
Belgium 13:15–06:01
Slovenia 20:57–06:04
Northern Ireland 13:11–05:55
Corsica 20:48–06:09
Montenegro 20:56–06:06
Faroe Islands 12:51–05:44
Mallorca 20:43–06:10
Luxembourg 13:17–06:02
Shetland 12:53–05:46
Aland Islands 13:54–05:41
Orkney 12:58–05:49
Svalbard and Jan Mayen 13:01–05:24
Menorca 20:44–06:10
Isle of Man 13:13–05:55
Ibiza 19:26–06:09
Andorra 20:48–06:08
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 18:53–04:57
Jersey 21:00–06:02
Guernsey 21:01–06:01
Melilla 19:25–06:05
Gibraltar 19:21–06:03
Vatican 20:51–06:08
Liechtenstein 13:23–06:04
Monaco 20:51–06:07
San Marino 20:54–06:06
Isla de Alborán 19:24–06:05
Islas Chafarinas 19:26–06:05

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.

At the time of the occultation, the Moon will be 15 days past new moon and will be 100% illuminated. Mars will disappear behind the unilluminated side of the Moon and reappear from behind the unilluminated side of the Moon.

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 04h57m10s 24°57'N Taurus -1.9 0'17"

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
18 Feb 2020 21 Jul 2022 Occultations of Mars 03 Jan 2023 31 Jan 2023
12 Oct 2022 05 Dec 2022 Occultations 21 Dec 2022 31 Jan 2023

The sky on 07 Dec 2022

The sky on 07 December 2022
Sunrise
06:35
Sunset
16:41
Twilight ends
18:09
Twilight begins
05:07

14-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

99%

14 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:55 12:46 17:37
Venus 07:31 12:28 17:24
Moon 16:19 23:44 07:15
Mars 16:25 23:38 06:51
Jupiter 12:40 18:39 00:37
Saturn 10:52 16:12 21:33
All times shown in PST.

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

30 Nov 2022  –  Mars at perigee
07 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition

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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32.72°N
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