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

The Moon will pass in front of Mars, creating a lunar occultation visible from the Americas, Europe, western Russia, Northern Africa and eastern Alaska. 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 Fairfield, though it will be visible elsewhere in the Contiguous United States.

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 the contours, the Moon will 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 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 Mars.

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
Canada 13:39–04:57
Greenland 02:08–04:33
The Contiguous United States 14:03–01:47
Russia 21:03–00:01
Sweden 18:34–05:16
Mexico 05:54–12:38
Norway 18:27–05:10
France 02:49–20:09
Finland 18:30–05:13
Algeria 02:52–19:35
Spain 02:41–20:21
Germany 03:16–19:46
Alaska 13:39–12:04
Poland 19:11–05:32
Italy 03:16–20:23
Great Britain 02:45–19:49
Svalbard 18:08–04:30
Belarus 19:01–05:31
Ukraine 21:05–05:48
Iceland 02:30–04:24
Romania 19:26–05:47
Tunisia 03:21–19:12
Hungary 06:47–05:36
Serbia 01:35–02:17
Morocco 02:47–03:02
Ireland 02:40–19:44
Latvia 18:59–05:21
Czechia 01:32–05:29
Portugal 02:42–20:15
Lithuania 19:04–05:24
Austria 03:26–02:14
Estonia 18:54–05:18
Denmark 01:34–05:17
Croatia 03:39–02:22
Slovakia 06:47–05:33
Bosnia and Herzegovina 02:40–02:20
Netherlands 03:08–19:38
Switzerland 03:15–19:57
Belgium 03:07–19:42
Slovenia 03:42–02:16
Northern Ireland 02:44–19:38
Albania 03:55–02:28
Montenegro 02:43–02:21
Corsica 03:22–20:11
Faroe Islands 02:49–04:56
Macedonia 02:45–02:22
Moldova 19:24–05:43
Mallorca 03:06–20:18
Luxembourg 03:15–19:41
Bulgaria 06:53–05:50
Shetland 03:01–05:01
Aland Islands 18:57–05:12
Orkney 02:56–05:00
Svalbard and Jan Mayen 02:53–04:26
Menorca 03:09–20:17
Isle of Man 02:51–19:37
Ibiza 03:04–20:19
Andorra 03:03–20:09
Malta 03:37–20:26
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 02:04–04:55
Jersey 02:55–19:51
Guernsey 02:54–19:50
Melilla 02:56–20:23
Gibraltar 02:51–20:19
Vatican 03:32–20:04
Liechtenstein 03:25–02:14
Monaco 03:17–20:04
San Marino 03:33–02:21
Isla de Alborán 02:56–20:22
Islas Chafarinas 02:57–20:24
Libya 00:21–18:30

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 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 21 Dec 2022

The sky on 7 Dec 2022

The sky on 7 December 2022
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:26 12:50 17:14
Venus 08:00 12:32 17:04
Moon 15:51 23:42 07:41
Mars 16:03 23:43 07:23
Jupiter 12:47 18:43 00:40
Saturn 11:12 16:17 21:22
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

30 Nov 2022  –  Mars at perigee
08 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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