NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 15 December 2022: Mars hides behind the Moon!


NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 15 December 2022: Check out this amazing snapshot of the Red Planet hiding behind Earth’s Moon.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 15 December 2022: The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite located about 395,122 kilometers from the planet. Throughout the course of history, man has bridged that distance with various missions carried out to the Moon. Mars is a different story altogether. Although we have sent rovers to the Red Planet too, man has not been able to step a foot on its surface. Over the years, there have been numerous pictures of the Moon and Mars captured via various telescopes, satellites and more, but this recent image snapshot of the Moon as well as Mars in a single picture might be the best one yet.

Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is a stunning image of the Moon with Mars behind its back. Don’t believe it? See it yourself! The image was captured by astrophotographer Tomas Slovinsky. He captured the image during early morning from Kosice, the largest city in Slovakia. The image showed Mars occultation happening behind the Moon! It was captured using a Canon R6 camera with the help of TS-Optics 1.000mm + 1.4x Kenko extender.

NASA’s explanation

On December 8, a full Moon and a full Mars were close, both bright and opposite the Sun in planet Earth’s sky. In fact, Mars was occulted, passing behind the Moon when viewed from some locations across Europe and North America. Seen from the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia, the lunar occultation of Mars happened just before sunrise. The tantalizing spectacle was recorded in this telescopic timelapse sequence of exposures. It took about an hour for the Red Planet to disappear behind the lunar disk and then reappear as a warm-hued full Moon, the last full Moon of 2022, sank toward the western horizon. The next lunar occultation of bright planet Mars will be in the new year on January 3, when the Moon is in a waxing gibbous phase. Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a fraction of the Earth’s surface, though. The January 3 occultation of Mars will be visible from parts of the South Atlantic, southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean.


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