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

Lunar occultation of Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Mars
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The Moon will pass in front of Mars, creating a lunar occultation visible from the Americas and Africa.

The occultation will be visible from San Diego. It will begin with the disappearance of Mars behind the Moon at 17:50 PST, though At a low altitude of only 9.0 degrees, in the north-eastern sky. Its reappearance will be visible at 18:46 PST at an altitude of 20.1 degrees.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Mars 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 of the contours, the Moon does not pass in front of Mars at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair may be visible.

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
The Contiguous United States 02:31–13:14
Canada 18:42–19:05
Mexico 17:22–13:29
Algeria 19:26–21:05
Mali 19:39–21:09
Niger 20:33–21:22
Mauritania 19:18–20:51
Nigeria 21:46–03:07
Morocco 19:18–20:31
Ivory Coast 00:43–21:02
Cameroon 21:37–03:17
Western Sahara 19:16–20:32
Burkina Faso 20:56–21:12
Chad 21:48–03:27
Guinea 00:49–20:41
Ghana 00:47–21:13
Senegal 10:14–20:27
Benin 21:05–21:16
Liberia 00:43–21:27
Sierra Leone 00:46–21:24
Togo 00:51–21:14
Guinea-Bissau 11:17–21:16
Equatorial Guinea 21:36–03:11
Gabon 21:28–03:16
The Canary Islands 19:05–20:18
Gambia 10:19–22:48
Bahamas 18:43–00:47
Cape Verde 18:56–21:12
The Portuguese Azores 18:43–00:18
Sao Tome and Principe 21:34–03:06
Portugal 19:13–20:15
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 18:53–19:00
Bermuda 18:44–00:59
Madeira 19:06–20:07
The Savage Islands 19:09–20:12

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 25 days past new moon and will be 100% illuminated. Mars will disappear behind the illuminated side of the Moon and reappear from behind the unilluminated side of the Moon.

The position of Mars at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 07h58m10s 25°00'N Gemini -1.4 0'14"

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
31 Jan 2023 18 Dec 2024 Occultations of Mars 09 Feb 2025 11 Nov 2035
27 Nov 2024 11 Jan 2025 Occultations 21 Jan 2025 07 Mar 2025

The sky on 13 Jan 2025

The sky on 13 January 2025
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:50 10:47 15:44
Venus 09:20 15:03 20:45
Moon 15:46 --:-- 06:58
Mars 17:02 00:15 07:27
Jupiter 13:52 20:54 03:56
Saturn 09:39 15:22 21:05
All times shown in PST.


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.

Related news

12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at perigee

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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