Moon-Venus occultation gives a rare treat to sky gazers

Last Updated: Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 17:51

New Delhi: A rare celestial show greeted
sky gazers on Saturday with crescent Moon occulting gibbous planet
Venus in the sky theatre.

The phenomenon was observed in the afternoon sky when the
crescent Moon poised directly between the Venus and the Earth,
Director of Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) C B Devgun said.

An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is
hidden by another object that passes between it and the
observer.

In this case, the Moon came directly between Venus and
the Earth. Last time the occultation of Venus, popularly
known as Goddess of Love, took place in India was on June 18,
2007, and the next one will be on June 30, 2011.

Sky gazers were able to watch the celestial event between
3:30 PM and 5:18 PM. Astro-enthusiasts were seen watching the
celestial treat with naked eyes but some used a pair of
binoculars for its exact positioning, Devgun said.

At the start of the event, the Moon and Venus were well
above the horizon, and the Moon itself at about 30 degrees
east of the Sun. The Moon was visible in the western sky with
Venus a bit east of it.

As the phenomenon occurred in daytime, one was not be
able to see Venus going behind or coming out from behind the
moon, but after the sun set, the crescent moon close to bright
Venus in the west presented a beautiful sight.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 17:51

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