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    Re: Lunar Occultation of Mars about 05.00 UTC on 8 Dec 2022
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2022 Nov 28, 15:25 -0800

    Thanks for the reminder. I've been working on a graphic for observers in my corner of the world (see below). Where I live, Mars will just miss being occulted. In norther New England it will be occulted for several minutes. There's a band running from the coast near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, then southwest to the triple point where the borders of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts meet, where the occultation will be "grazing" or partial. In my graphic, I've indicated the centerline of that zone where Mars will be split neatly in half. The lines should be curved, but at this scale they're nearly straight.

    It will be somewhat difficult to observe this occultation compared to some others since it's a very bright Full Moon. Of note for record-keeping buffs, both Mars and the Moon are "full" on this date, close to 180° elongation from the Sun. Mars is as close and bright as it will be for the next decade. And since this is a December Full Moon, the Moon will be high in the sky and bright for many observers. Binoculars or a telescope will help. The view of Mars cozying up to the Moon in the two hours before the occultation and sliding away from it afterward may be more memorable for many observers. It should be very pretty!

    More details and location-specific event times at in-the-sky.org.

    Frank Reed


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