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

Lunar occultation of Regulus

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Regulus

The Moon will pass in front of Regulus (Alpha Leonis), creating a lunar occultation visible from Oceania.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from Fairfield, though a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 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 Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 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
(UTC)
Solomon Islands 05:45–08:41
Fiji 15:01–09:11
Vanuatu 14:51–08:44
French Polynesia 22:06–09:27
Kiribati 15:23–08:53
Samoa 12:59–09:13
Marshall Islands 15:29–08:22
Tonga 02:32–09:16
New Caledonia 15:03–08:30
American Samoa 12:59–09:15
Cook Islands 02:22–09:25
Niue 02:35–09:19
Tuvalu 01:12–08:59
Wallis and Futuna 15:05–09:10
Nauru 00:21–08:30
New Zealand 00:42–09:03
Papua New Guinea 22:55–08:01
Baker Island 15:20–08:42
Howland Island 15:20–08:39
Tokelau 01:14–09:04

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 Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 10h08m20s 11°58'N Leo 1.4 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
26 Apr 2026 26 Apr 2026 Occultations of Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 19 Jun 2026 29 Jun 2044
26 Apr 2026 18 May 2026 Occultations 31 May 2026 17 Jun 2026

The sky on 23 May 2026

The sky on 23 May 2026
Sunrise
05:25
Sunset
20:11
Twilight ends
22:10
Twilight begins
03:26

7-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

53%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:58 13:32 21:07
Venus 07:29 15:10 22:50
Moon 12:40 19:27 02:01
Mars 04:07 10:52 17:38
Jupiter 08:57 16:23 23:49
Saturn 03:21 09:32 15:44
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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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41.14°N
73.26°W
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