Infinite Wishes 🏳️‍⚧️🚀

Is a weblog by Emma Humphries

10 Dec 2022 » Occulted Mars

A photo which has a circular vignette because it was taken through a telescope eyepiece. In the lower right the planet Mars appears as a small red circle. Up and to the right is a section of the full Moon. A dark circle near the Moon's limb is the crater Grimaldi.
Credit: Emma Humphries

Wednesday night was a chance to see an occultation of Mars by the Moon.

Occulted means hidden by: Mars appears to pass behind the Moon.

An occultation is the inverse of a transit. If Mars were to transit the Moon, that would be bad. Bad in the sense of our orbit around the Sun changing and the worst tides ever.

A storm was coming in, but we were fortunate enough in Oakland that the clouds didn’t arrive before I was able to watch through my small telescope.

Even with a filter to cut down the glare of the full Moon, the limb is bright and nearly washed out.

Because this was near Mars’ opposition, the planet was bright and red, even when observing it with the naked eye.

I didn’t plan to photograph the event, but I was able to get this snapshot through my telescope’s eyepiece with my phone’s camera.

I’ll see about getting out the telescope more often during the coming winter.

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