Lunar Occultation of Mars. Night Sky, 02-01-2023
Greetings from San Cristobal, NM. Two days before, I’d heard that the lunar occultation (covering) of mars by the moon, was imminent, that it would begin and end between 9 to 11 pm MST. It turns out that here in northern NM, we would be on the periphery of the viewable range, in other words, we are too far north and will possibly, see Mars skirt the edge of the moon. As the evening went on, I became frustrated with the event, the frigid temps dwindling batteries, and cold hands. After a few trips indoors to warm up, I was ready to call it a night.
Here’s the first shot of the moon and Mars when I saw it. The moon’s direction of travel in the first image is from the lower to the upper part of the frame. Is there an up and down in space? Click to enlarge.
After a lengthy warm-up by the woodstove cupping a glass of whisky, I went back to the camera set up on the deck, got the moon in my viewfinder, and spotted Mars about to vanish behind the moon. Mars is on the upper right edge of the moon.
Here’s a close-up of the planet Mars emerging. The time frame of this event was about 20 minutes. Time on the deck from start to finish 2.5 hours.
You can read more about the occultation here.
Lastly this week, I have to share the birds Three crows, eyes left!
One of a very large flock of Pinyon Jays in the garden this week. They emptied the bird feed in twenty minutes. This bird was waiting for it’s opportunity to feed but it doesn’t look very enthusiastic.
As always, thanks for looking and for all your kind words and compliments.