Lunar Occultation of Mars observed in city

A Lunar Occultation of Mars was observed and photographed in Mangaluru by Rohit S. Rao of the Amateur Astronomers Association on Saturday.

Lunar Occultation occurs when the Moon passes in front of Mars. It is similar to an eclipse. “Since the Moon is quite close to the Earth and Mars is far away, Mars appears to be a little dot in comparison to the Moon,” a release quoted Mr. Rao as saying.

Though Mars passes close to the Moon frequently, Lunar Occultation can be viewed only rarely from different parts of the world depending on the astronomical positions. The previous Lunar Occultation was visible only from Africa and South America, he said.

The present occultation was visible throughout India on Saturday commencing at 5.08 p.m. in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada and concluding at 7.20 p.m. During this period, being hidden by the Moon, Mars was invisible in the night sky. These photos were taken at the time of conclusion of the celestial event.

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