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

Lunar occultation of Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Neptune

The Moon will pass in front of Neptune, creating a lunar occultation visible from Africa, Asia, western Russia and Europe. 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 Ashburn.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Neptune 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 Neptune 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 Neptune.

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
Russia 21:03–04:16
Sudan 00:17–17:54
Algeria 02:52–21:05
Saudi Arabia 21:05–17:47
Kazakhstan 21:04–18:35
Iran 21:02–18:46
Libya 00:21–21:13
Democratic Republic of the Congo 00:20–02:12
Chad 00:17–21:35
Niger 03:29–21:22
Mali 03:48–21:09
Egypt 00:26–17:24
Ethiopia 00:21–18:13
Turkey 21:02–18:25
Nigeria 00:20–21:30
Ukraine 21:05–05:48
Afghanistan 21:08–18:47
Turkmenistan 21:03–18:39
Central African Republic 00:17–17:30
Uzbekistan 21:05–18:39
Pakistan 21:14–18:55
Iraq 21:02–18:08
Cameroon 00:18–21:39
Yemen 00:43–18:01
Mauritania 03:34–20:51
Romania 02:43–05:47
Republic of the Congo 00:23–21:42
Oman 21:28–17:36
Belarus 02:47–05:31
Burkina Faso 04:14–21:12
Gabon 00:28–21:39
Uganda 00:21–17:54
Ghana 04:20–21:13
Kenya 00:22–18:16
Ivory Coast 04:00–21:02
Syria 21:02–18:29
Greece 03:54–02:42
Morocco 02:47–20:32
Tunisia 03:21–20:43
Tajikistan 21:10–18:42
Kyrgyzstan 21:12–18:38
Bulgaria 02:45–05:50
Somalia 00:28–18:19
Serbia 02:42–02:17
Eritrea 00:29–17:53
Italy 03:16–20:23
Azerbaijan 21:02–18:17
Benin 03:39–21:17
Angola 00:44–02:10
Jordan 21:03–18:32
Georgia 21:02–05:58
China 21:15–04:13
United Arab Emirates 16:50–18:46
Togo 03:38–21:15
Hungary 02:40–05:36
Bosnia and Herzegovina 02:40–02:20
Tanzania 00:26–02:28
Moldova 02:50–05:43
Armenia 21:02–18:19
Macedonia 02:45–02:22
Albania 03:55–02:28
Equatorial Guinea 00:31–21:34
Israel 16:42–18:31
Rwanda 00:26–17:40
Djibouti 00:34–17:56
Montenegro 02:43–02:21
Poland 02:39–05:32
Kuwait 21:10–18:37
Croatia 03:39–02:22
Qatar 16:49–18:42
Cyprus 03:05–06:10
Burundi 00:28–17:39
Lebanon 16:50–18:28
India 21:17–19:00
Latvia 20:50–05:21
Slovakia 02:40–05:33
Palestinian Territory 16:46–18:30
Sao Tome and Principe 04:12–21:27
Bahrain 21:27–18:40
Malta 03:37–20:26
RAF Akrotiri 03:06–06:10

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 Neptune at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Neptune 23h58m10s 1°37'S Pisces 7.8 0'02"

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
23 Jul 2016 25 Jul 2024 Occultations of Neptune 18 Sep 2024 18 Sep 2024
14 Jul 2024 14 Aug 2024 Occultations 27 Aug 2024 17 Sep 2024

The sky on 21 Aug 2024

The sky on 21 August 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:13 12:48 19:23
Venus 08:13 14:32 20:52
Moon 20:44 02:32 08:32
Mars 01:05 08:28 15:52
Jupiter 00:53 08:14 15:34
Saturn 20:45 02:25 08:04
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.

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25 Sep 2026  –  Neptune 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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