It is time to take the telescope out.
On Monday evening (Jan. 30), the moon will eclipse Mars in what’s referred to as an occultation — the moon will move in entrance of Mars from the attitude of Earth.
Sadly solely a small swath of the planet will be capable of see the occultation, however that does embrace the southern United States, from southern California all the way in which to northern Florida, and as far north as Oklahoma, in line with skywatching website In-the-sky.org. (opens in new tab) Different viewing areas embrace Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American, and northwestern South America. A full listing of viewing instances by location for each the lunar occultation of Mars and the appulse of the moon and the Purple Planet may be found on Space.com courtesy of veteran skywatcher Joe Rao.
For individuals who cannot see the occasion in particular person, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is internet hosting a free on-line livestream of the lunar occultation of Mars courtesy of the observatory’s website (opens in new tab) or its YouTube channel (opens in new tab). The livestream begins on Monday (Jan. 30) at 11:00 p.m. EST (0400 GMT on Jan. 31) and can final for 2 hours.
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For individuals who dwell outdoors the zone of visibility of the lunar occultation, you will nonetheless be capable of witness the conjunction of the moon and Mars, as the 2 celestial our bodies will share the identical proper ascension (celestial equal of latitude) in an association referred to as a conjunction. They will even be making an in depth method, referred to as an appulse.
From New York Metropolis, the moon and Mars can be simply one-tenth of a level aside, in line with In-the-sky.org (opens in new tab). The duo can be seen from 12:10 p.m. EST (1710 GMT) till 3:23 a.m. EST (0823 GMT), and so they’ll be capable of match throughout the area of view of a telescope. You will additionally be capable of see the pair with binoculars and the bare eye.
As a 10-day-old moon in its waxing gibbous part, its floor can be 74 p.c illuminated from the attitude of Earth. Will probably be fairly shiny with a magnitude of -12.3, whereas Mars can be considerably much less shiny at magnitude -0.3.
Each the moon and Mars can be much less shiny than they had been throughout their final occultation, which occurred in December 2022 during a full moon.
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If you have to gear up for tonight’s occultation (or conjunction or appulse) of the moon and Mars, we have ready guides to the best telescopes and best binoculars that can assist you out. And for astrophotographers — budding or skilled — we have additionally rated the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography and put collectively a information on how to photograph the moon.
Editor’s Notice: For those who get a fantastic photograph of the shut method or conjunction between Mars and the moon and wish to share it with House.com’s readers, ship your photograph(s), feedback, and your identify and site to email@example.com.
Comply with Stefanie Waldek on Twitter @StefanieWaldek (opens in new tab). Comply with us @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab), or on Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab).