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

Lunar occultation of Sigma Sagittarii

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Nunki

The Moon will pass in front of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki), creating a lunar occultation visible from Africa, Western Asia, Europe, western Iran and western Russia. 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 Cambridge.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 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 Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 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.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
Algeria 02:52–21:05
Saudi Arabia 21:05–17:47
Libya 00:21–21:13
Sudan 00:17–03:58
Egypt 00:26–17:24
Turkey 21:02–18:25
Ukraine 21:05–05:48
Chad 00:17–03:28
Iran 21:02–18:46
Niger 03:29–21:22
Russia 21:03–04:16
Iraq 21:02–18:08
France 02:49–20:09
Spain 02:41–20:21
Italy 03:16–20:23
Morocco 02:47–20:32
Germany 03:16–19:46
Poland 02:39–05:32
Romania 02:43–05:47
Mali 03:48–21:09
Syria 21:02–18:29
Greece 03:54–02:42
Tunisia 03:21–20:43
Bulgaria 02:45–05:50
Belarus 02:47–05:31
Hungary 02:40–05:36
Serbia 02:42–02:17
Czechia 02:38–05:29
Azerbaijan 21:02–18:17
Austria 03:26–02:14
Eritrea 00:29–17:53
Jordan 21:03–18:32
Georgia 21:02–05:58
Croatia 03:39–02:22
Mauritania 03:34–20:51
Slovakia 02:40–05:33
Bosnia and Herzegovina 02:40–02:20
Switzerland 03:15–19:57
Moldova 02:50–05:43
Armenia 21:02–18:19
Macedonia 02:45–02:22
Albania 03:55–02:28
Slovenia 03:42–02:16
United Arab Emirates 16:50–18:46
Israel 16:42–18:31
Ethiopia 00:21–04:02
Montenegro 02:43–02:21
Kuwait 21:10–18:37
Yemen 00:43–18:01
Qatar 16:49–18:42
Cyprus 03:05–06:10
Corsica 03:22–20:11
Lebanon 16:50–18:28
Mallorca 03:06–20:18
Palestinian Territory 16:46–18:30
Luxembourg 03:15–19:41
Western Sahara 03:40–20:32
Menorca 03:09–20:17
Bahrain 21:27–18:40
Belgium 03:07–19:42
Ibiza 03:04–20:19
Andorra 03:03–20:09
Malta 03:37–20:26
Melilla 02:56–20:23
RAF Akrotiri 03:06–06:10
Gibraltar 02:51–20:19
Vatican 03:32–20:04
Liechtenstein 03:25–02:14
Monaco 03:17–20:04
San Marino 03:33–02:21
Isla de Alborán 02:56–20:22
Islas Chafarinas 02:57–20:24

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 Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 18h55m10s 26°17'S Sagittarius 2.1 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
19 Aug 2021 26 Apr 2027 Occultations of Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki) 20 Jun 2027 20 Jun 2027
06 Oct 2026 21 May 2027 Occultations 17 Jun 2027 20 Jun 2027

The sky on 23 May 2027

The sky on 23 May 2027
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:25 14:13 22:00
Venus 04:19 11:13 18:07
Moon 22:39 02:58 07:19
Mars 12:14 19:01 01:48
Jupiter 11:02 18:06 01:10
Saturn 03:40 10:08 16:36
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.

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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