The Moon and Mars Will Meet in Tonight’s Sky — Right here’s Watch

Say farewell to Mars — quickly— with tonight’s lunar occultation

<p>TacioPhilip/ Getty</p>

On Monday evening, stargazers within the southern U.S. right down to northern South America can witness an awe-striking nighttime spectacle: the moon passing in entrance of Mars. The occasion, often known as a lunar occultation, is simply seen to a sliver of the planet. If you happen to’re within the southern U.S., from Los Angeles to Miami — and you’ve got clear skies — you’ll get pleasure from a front-row seat to the present.

Situated up north? It’s nonetheless value heading out. These exterior the trail of the occultation can watch the moon and the purple planet slide previous one another; it’s seen with the bare eye, though binoculars or a telescope will make the expertise even higher, according to

Who can see this month’s lunar occultation of Mars?

A lot of the southern U.S. lies throughout the zone of lunar occultation visibility, as does Mexico, Central America, and northern South America — suppose Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil. Verify In-the-Sky’s occultation map to see when you’re within the viewing area.

Timing-wise, stargazers in Los Angeles can admire the occultation starting at 8:35 p.m. native time, when Mars disappears behind the moon. The purple planet will reappear at 9:29 p.m., according to In Miami, Mars will disappear at 12:37 a.m. native time, then reappear at 1:27 a.m. Look to the west-northwest horizon to identify the occultation.

These locations might present prime occultation viewing, however they’re not the one approach to get in on the interstellar enjoyable. Simply exterior the occultation zone is the “graze path.” This 13-mile-wide ribbon of the U.S. will see Mars graze alongside the floor of the moon, barely disappearing, then absolutely reappearing on the opposite aspect. Locations within the graze path embody Kanab, Utah, and Brunswick, Georgia.

From the northern U.S. into Canada, night-sky viewers can watch Mars almost contact the moon because it travels above it.

Will I would like a telescope to view the lunar occultation of Mars?

Given the moon’s proximity to Mars, you’ll have the ability to view the phenomenon with a stargazing telescope. That mentioned, the 74 p.c illuminated waxing gibbous moon will make your subject of view fairly shiny.

If you happen to don’t have a telescope, seize a pair of stargazing binoculars to admire the present. You can see it along with your bare eye, however the close-up makes it extra dazzling.

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