Mangaluru, April 19, 2021: The rare cosmic event of Lunar Occultation of Mars was observed and photographed in Mangalore by Rohit S. Rao of the Amateur Astronomers Association on Saturday, 17th April 2021. This is an event which occurs when the Moon passes in front of the planet Mars. It is similar to an eclipse.
“Since the Moon is quite close to the earth and Mars is very far away, Mars appears to be a little dot in comparison to the moon,” said Rao. Though Mars passes close to the moon frequently, Lunar Occultation can be viewed only rarely from different parts of the world depending on the astronomical positions. The previous lunar occultation was visible only from Africa and South America.
The present occultation was visible throughout India on Saturday, 17th April 2021, commencing at 5.08 pm in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada and concluding at 7.20 pm. During this period, being hidden by the moon, Mars was invisible in the night sky. These photos were taken at the time of conclusion.
Photos by: Rohit S. Rao, Amateur Astronomers Association, Mangalore.