Moon hides three planets and a star in a rare celestial extravaganza


Some extraordinary action was captured on Monday while the Moon was performing an occultation. The same action of the Moon had been captured during the American total solar eclipse. But this time something rare has been seen. During this solar eclipse, the Moon was seen sliding between the Earth and six celestial bodies. The last of this type of occultation by the moon had seen on March 5, 2008. The next occultation will happen in July 2036, sources said. During this occultation, the Moon swallowed three planets in just 24 hours.

According to US Naval Observatory, on Monday lunar occultation happened of three planets, one star, and two asteroids. Occultation happened when the Moon goes in front of something besides the sun.

This time the rare action of the Moon captured in Asia and Australia. Early in the morning, the Moon went over Venus and Regulus, the bright star. The entire process was like, Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Regulus swallowed by the Moon. It was more interesting to see as many celestial bodies were involved in this process. It is common to find an occultation that involves a single celestial body. But this rare occultation which involves around six celestial bodies only happens after every 28 years. A bright scene of this lunar eclipse has seen in Hawaii. As per the report, the solar eclipse happened before the sunrise, i.e., 90 to 60 minutes before sunrise. As it is easy to spot the Moon and Venus in the predawn and dawn sky, only these two were visible clearly

At the same time, Mars also go through an occultation. But Mars occultation was only seen in some parts of the Pacific Ocean and the coast of Mexico and some areas of America. As this happens in the daytime, one needs to use some high-class equipment like a telescope and a good skill on planate identification. People of Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand also witnessed the rare action the Moon.

As per the report, some professional astronomers were able to detect Hertha and Nephthys, two large asteroids covered by the Moon during the occultation.

An astrophysicist of the American Museum of Natural History, Jackie Faherty called this process as dance in the sky by the Moon. A few days back Universe Today published that the process will take place in the Eastern Time zone from Monday evening to Sunday evening.




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