Monday 5th to Sunday 11th December 2022
It's a period of occultations! Sounds like a series of sinister black magic ceremonies are going to be taking place, so I'd better explain..........
In astronomical terms, an "occultation" occurs when one celestial body appears to pass in front of another, temporarily blocking it from our view. Next week, the Moon is the culprit, with Uranus and then Mars being the victims.
Firstly, between and on Monday 5th, the Moon (that will be located towards the east) will occult Uranus. It will take about 20 seconds for the Moon's
Of course, Uranus is a small target for your telescope or binoculars, currently shining at a magnitude of only +5.6 and the Moon will be almost at its full phase, so creating a lot of light pollution.
If you are up early on Thursday 8th around and look towards the west, you can catch the Full Moon occulting Mars. The Red Planet will take 37 seconds to disappear behind the
In a twist of fate, Mars reaches opposition, when it is at its absolute brightest, while it's behind the Moon at that morning!
Screenshots courtesy of Stellarium
Copyright Adrian Dening and Radio Ninesprings 2022