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, Western Africa and Middle Africa. 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 01:33–04:30
Colombia 01:19–02:42
The Contiguous United States 01:12–02:19
Venezuela 01:20–02:58
Mali 04:06–05:10
Nigeria 04:14–05:25
Ivory Coast 04:00–05:18
Mexico 01:12–02:13
Burkina Faso 04:09–05:16
Guinea 03:57–05:08
Ghana 04:08–05:21
Niger 04:17–05:19
Guyana 01:32–03:10
Gabon 04:22–05:25
Suriname 01:38–03:17
Cuba 01:11–02:26
Nicaragua 01:17–02:14
Honduras 01:16–02:14
Guatemala 01:15–02:08
Benin 04:13–05:22
Cameroon 04:20–05:25
Liberia 03:56–05:13
Panama 01:23–02:20
French Guiana 01:43–03:22
Senegal 04:04–04:47
Sierra Leone 03:54–05:03
Togo 04:12–05:22
Costa Rica 01:24–02:10
Peru 01:51–02:25
Dominican Republic 01:17–02:33
Mauritania 04:20–04:51
Guinea-Bissau 03:58–04:44
Haiti 01:15–02:30
Bahamas 01:13–02:27
Equatorial Guinea 04:20–05:25
Belize 01:14–02:10
El Salvador 01:21–02:06
Republic of the Congo 04:27–05:22
Jamaica 01:13–02:24
Puerto Rico 01:21–02:37
Trinidad and Tobago 01:29–02:53
Gambia 04:11–04:33
Angola 04:31–05:18
Ecuador 01:53–02:06
Guadeloupe 01:28–02:45
Sao Tome and Principe 04:19–05:25
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 01:28–02:50
Turks and Caicos Islands 01:17–02:28
Barbados 01:31–02:52
British Virgin Islands 01:24–02:38
Cayman Islands 01:13–02:19
Martinique 01:29–02:48
Curacao 01:21–02:37
Saint Kitts and Nevis 01:27–02:42
Saint Lucia 01:28–02:49
U.S. Virgin Islands 01:24–02:39
Antigua and Barbuda 01:28–02:43
Dominica 01:28–02:46
Saint Helena 03:45–05:08
Anguilla 01:26–02:40
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba 01:21–02:40
Grenada 01:28–02:50
Bermuda 01:52–02:06
Montserrat 01:27–02:43
Aruba 01:20–02:35
Sint Maarten 01:27–02:40
Saint Barthelemy 01:27–02:40
Saint Martin 01:26–02:40
Navassa Island 01:14–02:26

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
03 Mar 2024 26 Apr 2024 Occultations of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 20 Jun 2024 10 May 2028
07 Apr 2024 10 May 2024 Occultations 31 May 2024 14 Jul 2024

The sky on 23 May 2024

The sky on 23 May 2024
Sunrise
05:42
Sunset
19:45
Twilight ends
21:23
Twilight begins
04:04

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

98%

15 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:42 11:18 17:54
Venus 05:35 12:31 19:26
Moon 19:18 00:27 05:30
Mars 03:29 09:47 16:04
Jupiter 05:34 12:29 19:24
Saturn 02:14 08:00 13:46
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.

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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San Diego

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32.72°N
117.16°W
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