An Occultation of Mars


Brian May: Introduction to Occultation of the Planet Mars – 07/12/2022

Hi Folks

I’m outside here and I thought I’d speak to you in person in the moment because we have a fairly unusual astronomical event happening tonight.  It’s an Occultation of Mars, so I thought I’d just try and introduce you to this and if you’re still up now there’s a chance you might still be up in about four hours’ time.  In Britain it’s 4.30AM – not very convenient.  If you’re in the States it’s something a little more friendly.

And there’s the Moon behind me.  It’s not a very good picture of everything because iPhones are really really crap at astrophotography but about 8.30 position – that’s bottom left.  You will see if you go out right now, the planet Mars looking pretty red and sparkly, very much overshadowed by the Moon but the Moon will actually blot it out as it occults it later on and it’s something nice to see as one minute the the planet is there looking down upon us and the next minute you can’t see it.  About an hour later it will reappear the other side of of the Moon.  So if you’ve got binoculars it’s a good thing to try or with naked eyes.

Okay, I’ve got my little telescope here that I made with my Dad many many years ago and it’s the same one that I took down to Patrick Moore’s house some years ago to see the Transit of Venus.

Theres a little film about that which you might you might get to see soon.

 So good luck with your the occultation of the planet Mars.  I hope you enjoy.


Video Credit

This is a visualisation from showing what is about to happen in the sky tonight – visit them for a nice clear explanation ! My thanks as always to my astro eyes and ears Jamie Cooper [@jamiecooper photography], who, at this minute is preparing to photograph the event. Wishing you folks clear skies out there !