12 May 2010

Moon occults Venus

This Sunday 16th May, 2010 the two day old Moon will occult the plant Venus which is in the gibbous phase in the constellation of Taurus.

When an celestial object passes between the line of sight of an observer and another celestial object, obstructing the view is called Occultation. In this case, Moon will pass between Venus and earth obstructing the view of the Venus so we can say Moon will occult Venus.

Occultation details:(all times are in UT, IST = UT +5.5hrs)

Venus Disappears behind Moon: 10:50
Venus Reappears: 12:02

It will be difficult to spot Venus and Moon as they will be 30 degrees east of the Sun at 10:50 UT. Telescopes with setting circles or built in GOTO is advisable for viwing and photographing the event.

Venus coordinates for 16th May:

Right Ascension: 5h 40m 57.19s
Declination: +24° 47' 53.5"

Be very careful while scanning the sky for the planet Venus. Always take care not to point the telescope towards the Sun.

Venus angular diameter is 12 arc seconds and has a magnitude of -4.

Sun Position:
The Sun will be at an altitude of 31.5 degrees from the western horizon at the start of the occultation.
Sun will be at an altitude of 14 degrees above the western horizon at the end of the occultaton.

Sun set: 18:38 IST

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