On Wednesday (September 14), the moon will pass in front of Uranus in an event called the lunar unseen that will be visible from parts of Africa, Asia and Europe.
The hide will begin at 6:26 PM EST (2226 GMT) when Uranus– a giant ice planet located towards the outer edge of Solar System– It begins to disappear behind the moon for about an hour. Then the planet will come out from behind the moon.
The occultation will be visible at about 12° to 13° above the UK’s eastern horizon (corresponding to an arm’s length fist roughly ten degrees in the sky.) Using a pair of binoculars or a small telescope, skywatchers will see Uranus gradually disappear behind the bright end of the moon .
The Moon is totally rolling when it comes to the unseen with Uranus. It has blocked the ice giant in the night sky at least once a month since February 2022, and will continue to do so until the end of the year. It is also seen from at least somewhere on Earth.
Like all unseen events in which the moon moves in front of it stars Or planets or even asteroids It obscures them from view, and the concealment of Uranus can only be seen from certain parts of the planet.
This is because the Moon is close to the Earth and therefore has a parallax – the displacement of an object as seen from two different points that are not in a straight line with that object.
The position of the Moon, as seen from points on opposite sides of the Earth, shifts between two and four degrees. This means when the observers are on one side of the a landSeeing the moon hiding something, skywatchers will see it on the other side next to this object, separated by about two degrees.
As a result of the Moon’s proximity to the Earth, it moves rapidly in the night sky. This means that the unseen planets It usually only lasts an hour.
However, this is not as fast as another type of lunar occultation.
Technically speaking, because it is caused by the moon moving in front of it the sun , Solar eclipses are examples of lunar unseen. Usually there are between two and five solar eclipse Every year, but the moon covers other bright and much more distant stars that can be seen with the naked eye frequently.
Over the course of a year, the moon will overtake every constellations About once a month and it will cover about 0.5% of the night sky. This means that it covers approximately 850 stars which are usually visible to the naked eye with magical states occurring on a monthly basis.
Astronomers and sky watchers can predict which bright stars will participate in the occultation by observing the path the moon follows across the sky.
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Sky watchers in different regions of the world still have a chance to discover the lunar unseen of Uranus this year. On October 12, Uranus will be visible over the United States and Canada. On November 8, 2022, Uranus will be hidden behind the moon to observers in Asia.
Another occultation of the Moon and Uranus will occur before 2022 ends for observers in Europe and Asia, where the two astronomical bodies meet again on December 5.
Just like the occultation on September 14th, the moon will obscure the distant icy giant causing it to disappear from view. On December 5, the masking will last for 30 minutes starting at 12:50 PM ET (16:50 GMT).
Skywatchers in the US and Europe will be able to see them Mars It disappears behind the moon again on December 8, 2022.
You can check out our guides for best binoculars and the The best telescopesTo discover the lunar clouds of Uranus. If you want to take a good picture of Uranus and/or the Moon, check out our recommendations for the best astrophotography camerasAnd the Best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you took a picture of the Moon and Uranus and want to share it with Space.com readers, send your picture(s), comments, name, and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.