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

Lunar occultation of Antares

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Antares

The Moon will pass in front of Antares (Alpha Scorpii), creating a lunar occultation visible from the Americas. 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, though it will be visible from eastern parts of the Contiguous United States.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 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 Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 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)
Brazil 07:18–10:01
The Contiguous United States 06:54–08:05
Colombia 07:00–08:41
Venezuela 07:05–08:54
Mexico 06:53–08:01
Peru 07:22–08:31
Guyana 07:22–09:08
Ecuador 07:21–08:15
Bolivia 07:53–08:53
Suriname 07:29–09:14
Cuba 06:54–08:13
Nicaragua 06:57–08:05
Honduras 06:56–08:05
Guatemala 06:55–07:58
Panama 07:03–08:15
French Guiana 07:37–09:19
Costa Rica 07:02–08:04
Dominican Republic 07:04–08:21
Haiti 07:01–08:18
Bahamas 07:00–08:13
Belize 06:55–07:59
El Salvador 06:59–07:58
Jamaica 06:58–08:13
Puerto Rico 07:11–08:25
Trinidad and Tobago 07:19–08:45
Guadeloupe 07:21–08:33
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 07:20–08:40
Turks and Caicos Islands 07:06–08:15
Barbados 07:25–08:42
British Virgin Islands 07:16–08:25
Cayman Islands 06:56–08:07
Martinique 07:22–08:37
Curacao 07:07–08:29
Saint Kitts and Nevis 07:20–08:30
Saint Lucia 07:21–08:39
U.S. Virgin Islands 07:15–08:26
Antigua and Barbuda 07:22–08:30
Dominica 07:21–08:35
Anguilla 07:20–08:27
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba 07:08–08:30
Grenada 07:19–08:41
Montserrat 07:21–08:31
Aruba 07:06–08:26
Sint Maarten 07:20–08:27
Saint Barthelemy 07:20–08:27
Saint Martin 07:20–08:27
Navassa Island 07:00–08:14

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 Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 16h29m20s 26°25'S Scorpius 1.1 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
08 Jan 2024 05 Feb 2024 Occultations of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 30 Mar 2024 24 May 2024
08 Jan 2024 18 Feb 2024 Occultations 16 Mar 2024 07 Apr 2024

The sky on 3 Mar 2024

The sky on 3 March 2024
Sunrise
06:11
Sunset
17:47
Twilight ends
19:09
Twilight begins
04:49

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent

47%

23 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:29 12:16 18:02
Venus 05:08 10:29 15:51
Moon 00:43 05:41 10:36
Mars 04:54 10:10 15:27
Jupiter 08:56 15:36 22:17
Saturn 06:10 11:48 17:27
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.

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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