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
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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.

The occultation will be visible from Ashburn. It will begin with the disappearance of Antares (Alpha Scorpii) behind the Moon at 21:36 EDT, though at a low altitude of only 4.7 degrees, in the south-eastern sky. Its reappearance will be visible at 22:09 EDT, though at a low altitude of 9.4 degrees.

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
Brazil 06:23–21:29
Colombia 06:16–03:52
The Contiguous United States 14:03–08:24
Venezuela 06:20–03:32
Mali 03:48–23:34
Nigeria 00:20–00:02
Ivory Coast 04:00–21:26
Mexico 05:54–08:59
Burkina Faso 04:14–23:35
Guinea 03:38–21:19
Ghana 04:20–23:35
Niger 03:29–23:53
Guyana 06:32–05:48
Gabon 00:28–00:19
Suriname 06:37–05:52
Cuba 22:12–00:41
Nicaragua 06:17–09:08
Honduras 06:20–09:03
Guatemala 06:22–09:01
Benin 03:39–23:39
Cameroon 00:18–00:19
Liberia 03:50–21:27
Panama 06:15–03:29
French Guiana 06:44–05:55
Senegal 03:30–21:10
Sierra Leone 03:44–21:24
Togo 03:38–23:37
Costa Rica 06:15–09:13
Peru 09:02–04:15
Dominican Republic 02:36–00:42
Mauritania 03:34–23:15
Guinea-Bissau 03:34–21:16
Haiti 02:42–00:40
Bahamas 02:46–00:47
Equatorial Guinea 00:31–00:08
Belize 05:59–08:55
El Salvador 06:20–09:02
Republic of the Congo 00:23–00:26
Jamaica 08:03–00:29
Puerto Rico 02:36–00:45
Trinidad and Tobago 06:37–05:17
Gambia 03:33–22:48
Angola 00:44–00:50
Ecuador 06:16–03:55
Guadeloupe 02:38–00:43
Sao Tome and Principe 04:12–23:56
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 02:41–05:05
Turks and Caicos Islands 02:38–00:45
Barbados 02:41–05:05
British Virgin Islands 02:37–00:47
Cayman Islands 08:05–00:31
Martinique 02:39–04:50
Curacao 06:29–04:52
Saint Kitts and Nevis 02:37–00:46
Saint Lucia 02:40–04:57
U.S. Virgin Islands 02:37–00:46
Antigua and Barbuda 02:37–00:50
Dominica 02:39–04:49
Saint Helena 04:09–21:42
Anguilla 02:37–00:49
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba 06:31–00:47
Grenada 06:49–05:07
Bermuda 02:51–00:59
Montserrat 02:38–00:44
Aruba 06:29–04:47
Sint Maarten 02:37–00:48
Saint Barthelemy 02:37–00:48
Saint Martin 02:37–00:48
Navassa Island 22:22–00:31

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 6 days past new moon and will be 100% illuminated. Antares (Alpha Scorpii) will disappear behind the illuminated side of the Moon and reappear from behind the unilluminated side of the Moon.

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
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15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:55 11:39 18:24
Venus 05:42 12:52 20:02
Moon 19:50 00:42 05:28
Mars 03:47 10:08 16:30
Jupiter 05:41 12:51 20:00
Saturn 02:40 08:22 14:04
All times shown in EDT.


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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