Mars occultation is a great celestial bon voyage

By Derek Wallentinsen posted 12-07-2022 12:41


Wow! On December 8, the ACEAP 2020 cohort makes its much, much, much-anticipated journey down south. As you can see, my bags are packed and I'm good to go.

Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador is all packed!

And that's not all, folks.

Coming up on Wednesday night, December 7 is a solar system spectacular with the two brightest objects in the winter evening sky.

The moon is full at 908pm Mountain Standard Time. Mars reaches opposition to the sun at 1036pm MST. And the moon will eclipse – occult is the general term for this type of event – the planet across most of North America.

Where I live in Albuquerque, Mars disappears behind the lunar limb around 740pm and reappears just about one hour later at 838pm.

Visible with the unaided eye, the occultation isn't instantaneous, as Mars presents a disk. So the disappearance and reappearance will each take most of a minute.

The image shows a simulated view from the phone planetarium app Sky Portal of the beginning of the event from New Mexico.

What a send-off for our ACEAP 2020 cohort!  





12-07-2022 18:05

Thanks, Andrew.

It looks most likely I'll be clouded out. I hope others will catch the occultation in images.

12-07-2022 17:58

Good luck with catching this amazing sky show!  Will you be taking any photos or videos of the event? 

We look forward to hearing about your adventures.