Venus-Moon Occultation

Before sunrise Feb. 26, 2014, the Moon and Venus presented a beautiful conjunction witnessed by many people. I set up my camera and tripod in the living room and posted this blog entry with four photographs.

Earlier that morning on the other side of the Earth, people were treated to a rare sight. The Moon passed in front of Venus and occulted the planet. The sight was featured in today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. The two people got this daytime view minutes before the Moon passed in front of Venus. Beautiful, isn’t it? More below the image.

The Moon moves from west to east across the field of stars due to its orbit around the Earth. It moves east to west across our sky due to the rotation of the Earth. Each day, the Moon appears a little more to the east than the day before.

I opened my desktop planetarium software and set my viewing location to south of India in the Indian Ocean, just north of the equator. I set the time to 8:15 am local time. I located, locked on, and zoomed into Venus. There was the Moon very near to the right, or west of Venus. It is very bright because of the daylight. I clicked to animate the scene. The Moon moved to the east and occulted Venus like this. I wish that had happened here. Some day it will. I will be watching.

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