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

Lunar occultation of Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Mercury

The Moon will pass in front of Mercury, creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Australia, Papua New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and Solomon Islands amongst others. 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 Mercury 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 Mercury 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 Mercury.

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
Australia 14:59–14:18
Papua New Guinea 16:48–01:35
Indonesia 14:50–01:08
Solomon Islands 09:16–01:57
Tasmania 16:02–14:27
Vanuatu 10:01–01:50
New Caledonia 16:17–01:25
Kiribati 07:32–12:05
Federated States of Micronesia 18:40–11:33
Marshall Islands 09:42–11:51
Heard Island and McDonald Islands 03:22–21:31
Tuvalu 10:09–11:47
Nauru 09:40–11:30
Baker Island 10:17–12:04
Howland Island 10:17–12:04
Johnston Atoll 07:30–11:43
Tokelau 10:21–12:01
Wake Island 10:08–11:34

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 23h45m40s 1°15'S Pisces -1.0 0'06"

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 Nov 2021 03 Nov 2021 Occultations of Mercury 18 Feb 2026 18 Feb 2026
14 Jan 2025 21 Feb 2025 Occultations 07 Mar 2025 07 Mar 2025

The sky on 28 Feb 2025

The sky on 28 February 2025
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

30-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


30 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:20 13:17 19:15
Venus 07:25 14:02 20:39
Moon 07:06 12:58 19:01
Mars 13:11 20:48 04:24
Jupiter 10:56 18:15 01:34
Saturn 07:17 13:02 18:46
All times shown in EST.


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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08 Mar 2025  –  Mercury at highest altitude in evening sky
07 Mar 2025  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east
19 Apr 2025  –  Mercury at highest altitude in morning sky

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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