Early this Tuesday (31), there was an occultation of Mars by the Moon. During the event, our natural satellite passed in front of the Red Planet from our observation perspective, creating a kind of “eclipse”. The occultation was visible from the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and in some states of Brazil — specifically, Roraima and Amazonas.
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Lunar occultations occur when the Moon appears to pass in front of some object in the sky, such as planets, stars and even asteroids. Because it’s close to Earth, the Moon moves relatively quickly, so lunar occultations of planets don’t usually last more than an hour, on average.
The event was visible to the naked eye, and those who managed to follow it saw Mars disappearing behind the Moon. Some time later, the planet reappeared in our view perspective, offering a beautiful photo opportunity. In Brazil, those who wanted to follow the Moon “hiding” Mars needed to have a clear sky and no obstructions on the horizon, since the stars were quite low in the sky.
In addition, it was necessary to sleep a little later: in Manaus, for example, the occultation was only visible around 2:40 am. In São Paulo, it was possible to observe the stars in conjunction until the early hours of the morning, around 1 am.
Photos of the “eclipse” of Mars by the Moon
In case you haven’t been able to observe the phenomenon, FreeGameGuide separated some incredible images of the “eclipse” of Mars by the Moon.