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The Moon Is Doing Something It Hasn’t Done In 28 Years

Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

It’s been a busy 2017 for the moon, hasn’t it? Our natural satellite has already amazed us with the eclipse that happened earlier this year. Now for the first time in 28 years, the moon is going to upstage even more heavenly bodies.

It’s actually called a lunar occultation. That’s a fancy way of saying the moon is going to slide between the Earth and another celestial body. What makes this week’s lunar occultation so unique is it’s not just one celestial object that is being covered by the orbit of the moon, it’s four.

During this week the moon will pass between our view of the planets Venus, Mars, Mercury and the star Regulus. If you’re watching in the nighttime sky the moon will appear to swallow up those planets. It will be an interesting spectacle to observe since those planets and that star are some of the brighter objects in the sky.

The moon will be in a waning crescent phase. That means it will look like a very emaciated Pac-Man as it appears to engulf these celestial objects.

Naturally, your place on Earth will determine the best viewing spots. Unfortunately, South Louisiana is not one of those premier observation points. The folks in Australia and New Zealand should have a great view. Also, people in India, the Middle East, and Mexico will be in prime locations as well.

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