Venus 'Hides' Behind Moon - The New Indian Express

Venus 'Hides' Behind Moon

Published: 27th February 2014 08:22 AM

Last Updated: 27th February 2014 12:06 PM

Vigilant skywatchers in the city were treated to the thrilling sight of planet Venus ‘hiding’ behind the moon in the morning hours of Wednesday. The event is known as ‘Occultation’, where one celestial body hides another. In Wednesday’s case, it was a ‘Lunar Occultation of Venus.’

 Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty and love, is several times larger than the earth’s small, lone satellite, but it appears a bright speck in the sky because of its  enormous distance from the earth.

Venus is about 261 million kilometres when it’s farthest from us. And the moon, a relatively measly 3,84,400 km.

For people on earth, moon appears about 100 times bigger than the second planet owing to its proximity.

 ‘’Both moon and Venus were visible from around 5 am. But the occultation proper began around 9.30 am when Venus started disappearing behind the earth’s satellite.

The celestial event was visible for roughly one-and-a-half hours,’’ said Arul Jerald Prakash, director, Kerala State Science and Technology Museum and Priyadarshini Planetarium.

‘’It cannot be called a very rare event,’’ he said. While both celestial bodies were visible to the naked eye, many skywatchers had a clearer ringside view using binoculars and small telescopes.

This time, the occultation was visible from India and southeast Asia during daytime while many other parts of the world missed it.

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