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Expert astronomy: watch the Moon occult Venus

18 Jun 2020, 13:07 UTC
Expert astronomy: watch the Moon occult Venus
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Moon occults Venus on the morning of Friday 19 June in an exciting and quite rare event, which can be observed across the whole of the UK through a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. In broad daylight, Venus will disappear behind the Moon for just over an hour, from about 8.37am (all times BST; subtract an hour for UT). The exact timing of the beginning of the occultation will depend on where in the UK you are, with the pair well up in the eastern sky.
When the Moon occults Venus on the morning of 19 June, the Sun is high in the sky, so great care must be taken when viewing this event – accidentally looking at the sun through binoculars or a telescope can permanently damage your eyesight, so don’t do it! AN graphic by Greg Smye-Rumsby.
There’s a major caveat, however, in that the Sun is also above the horizon and sits close by (around 22 degrees to the east, or lower left, of Venus and the Moon; to get some sense of how close this is, a fist held out at arm’s length covers about 10 degrees across the knuckles). WARNING: it’s ...

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