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.
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.
A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:
|The Contiguous United States||14:03–08:24|
|Republic of the Congo||00:23–00:26|
|Trinidad and Tobago||06:37–05:17|
|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|
|British Virgin Islands||02:37–00:47|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||02:37–00:46|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||02:37–00:46|
|Antigua and Barbuda||02:37–00:50|
|Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba||06:31–00:47|
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.
|« 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|
15 days old
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.
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.