Space & Astronomy
Three planets to hide behind the Moon today
By T.K. Randall
September 18, 2017 · 1 comment
Lunar occultations involving three planets within 24 hours are quite rare. Image Credit: CC BY-2.0 Jason Bache
Venus, Mars and Mercury will all be temporarily disappearing behind the Moon over the next few hours.
The event is what is known as a lunar occultation and it occurs whenever the Moon passes in front of a far away object in the sky, blocking our view of it from the Earth.
The last time three planets disappeared behind the Moon within a 24-hour period was all the way back in 2008 and after this it will not occur again until 2036.
"It's almost like it's a dance in the sky," said astrophysicist Jackie Faherty from the American Museum of Natural History. "It's going to pass its partners."
As with a solar eclipse, the occultations will not be observable from everywhere at once and it will be necessary to have appropriate viewing equipment available to see them properly.
Breathtaking video footage of Jupiter recorded during a previous occultation can be viewed below.
Source: New York Times
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