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

Lunar occultation of Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Jupiter

The Moon will pass in front of Jupiter, creating a lunar occultation visible from Sub-Saharan 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.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from San Diego.

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

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
South Africa 23:32–02:27
Mozambique 00:41–02:33
Madagascar 00:49–02:37
Botswana 23:28–02:24
Zimbabwe 01:05–02:28
Zambia 00:38–02:22
Namibia 23:13–02:14
Malawi 00:40–02:29
Angola 00:44–02:10
Swaziland 23:44–02:26
French Southern Territories 03:28–14:07
Mauritius 01:13–02:34
Reunion 01:12–02:34
Heard Island and McDonald Islands 03:22–14:12
Lesotho 23:43–02:20

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 09h17m30s 16°49'N Cancer -2.3 0'39"

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
06 Oct 2026 19 Mar 2027 Occultations of Jupiter 12 May 2027 14 May 2034
06 Oct 2026 30 Mar 2027 Occultations 23 Apr 2027 20 Jun 2027

The sky on 15 Apr 2027

The sky on 15 April 2027
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


9 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:50 11:59 18:09
Venus 05:01 10:55 16:48
Moon 14:05 20:58 03:41
Mars 14:04 20:52 03:39
Jupiter 13:42 20:29 03:17
Saturn 06:08 12:24 18:40
All times shown in PDT.


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

10 Feb 2027  –  Jupiter at opposition
12 Mar 2028  –  Jupiter at opposition
11 Apr 2029  –  Jupiter at opposition
13 May 2030  –  Jupiter 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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