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

Lunar occultation of Beta1 Scorpii

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Acrab
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

The Moon will pass in front of Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab), creating a lunar occultation visible from the Contiguous United States, Mexico and Clipperton Island. 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.

The occultation will be visible from San Diego. It will begin with the disappearance of Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) behind the Moon at 03:38 PST, though at a low altitude of only 1.1 degrees, in the south-eastern sky. Its reappearance will be visible at 04:38 PST at an altitude of 12.2 degrees.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) 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 Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) 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
The Contiguous United States 14:03–14:17
Mexico 05:54–08:13
Clipperton Island 04:38–12:07

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 6 days past new moon and will be 15% illuminated. Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) will disappear behind the illuminated side of the Moon and reappear from behind the unilluminated side of the Moon.

The position of Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) 16h05m20s 19°48'S Scorpius 2.6 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
22 Sep 2020 19 Oct 2031 Occultations of Beta1 Scorpii (Acrab) 05 Feb 2032 31 Mar 2032
13 Sep 2031 06 Jan 2032 Occultations 23 Jan 2032 01 Mar 2032

The sky on 9 Jan 2032

The sky on 9 January 2032
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent


26 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:57 10:53 15:50
Venus 04:16 09:22 14:29
Moon 03:25 08:46 14:06
Mars 09:34 15:13 20:51
Jupiter 06:24 11:24 16:25
Saturn 14:33 21:34 04:35
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.

Image credit

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


San Diego



Color scheme