April 12, 2021 9:11:35 pm
JUST LIKE it hides the sun during a solar eclipse, the moon will hide Mars on the evening of April 17 in what is termed an ‘occultation’.
Like in a solar eclipse, the event will be visible over only some regions and the time will differ from place to place, said Arvind Paranjpye, Director, Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Centre.
The moon will hide Mars around 5.30 pm on April 17, and the planet will reappear in about an hour and a half. The phenomenon is not rare but, for a given location, it is not common either. The last such occultation, visible over India in the evening, was on May 10, 2008. For India, at locations in the West, the occultation will begin when the sun is still above the horizon.
Since Mars is distinctly visible to the naked eye, this event can be enjoyed without any optical aid. A pair of binoculars or a small telescope, however, will be useful.
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