A super-rare occultation of the moon resulted in the obscuring of three planets and a bright star in just 24 hours, an event that won't happen again until 2036.
A rare celestial event took place Monday night as the moon performed an “occultation,” obscuring three planets and a star in just 24 hours. The lunar occultation, which refers to an event where the moon goes in front of something other than the sun, also blocked the view of two asteroids.
The moon covered both Venus and Regulus, the brightest star, early that morning. It later covered Mars and Mercury as well. It is the first time since March 5, 2008, ,that three planets have been covered by the moon in less than a day, and the next time it happens won’t be until July 24, 2036. Obviously, this is something of more academic interest as the viewing public won’t notice it much, but it’s an incredible event from an astronomical perspective.
But it was still a pretty interesting sight for stargazers, as Venus, Regulus, Mars and Mercury all lined up in the moon’s path. Venus was the first to be covered, followed by Regulus, Mars, and finally Mercury.