The Moon occasionally appears to pass in front of other celestial bodies since it is the one that is nearest to Earth. We refer to this as a solar eclipse when it happens to the Sun, but we refer to an occultation when it happens to another object. Occulting Uranus has a significant year this year.
The Moon would obscure every planet and a regular group of stars once per month if the orbits of all the planets and the Moon were precisely in a plane. However, because of the modest inclination of the planetary and lunar orbits, the Moon typically passes by these objects to the north or south. Nine planets will be obscured by the Moon this year, including six occultations of Uranus, two of Mars, and one of Venus.
Finding bright planets in the sky is rather simple, but occasionally you need assistance to locate Uranus. When it is directly across from the Moon, just about to be blocked out, or has just reemerged, it is considerably simpler.
The upcoming Martian occurrence will occur in the early morning hours, and the Venusian occultation was difficult to view because it was so close to the Sun. If you want to watch the Moon block a planet this year, unless you’re a serious fanatic, it has to be Uranus.
While planets can occult one other, with the closer one passing in front, it nearly never happens because of how little space they occupy in the sky. Sometimes planets (and their moons) occult stars, providing crucial scientific data with the assistance of amateur astronomers. However, this typically involves faint, unknown stars.
Occultations can’t be seen from every part of the globe, just like complete solar eclipses are typically only accessible by air. Even many locations that can view the Moon at the appropriate time won’t see an occultation because at least half of the world will be looking in the incorrect direction.
Depending on where on Earth you are, the Moon appears to be in a different location compared to farther away things. As a result, many people witness the Moon’s edge skim past the globe or, depending on location, even miss it by as much as two degrees.
These factors made neither the June nor the July Uranus occultations favorable for many people, and only a few Pacific Islands were able to witness the August event. However, the four Uranus occultations beginning on September 14 will be much more favorable. While Uranus is so faint that you’ll likely need binoculars or a telescope, most of the Northern Hemisphere will have the chance to see at least one of them, weather permitting.
Europe, some of Africa, and portions of Asia will be able to see the occultation on September 14. Canada and a portion of the United States take turns on October 12. The thrilling occultation on November 8 is visible from eastern Asia and will take place partially during a total moon eclipse.
On December 5, North America and Europe will once again compete, though most Europeans would opt to stay in bed due to the early morning hour.
You can get a list of cities and the periods at which Uranus will vanish and reappear from each of them by clicking on the links above. It should be noted that because the dates are in Universal (Greenwich Mean) time, certain events will take place the day before or after in local time.