Don’t miss the lunar eclipse of Mars next week on Monday (January 30)

On Monday night (January 30), the central and northern United States and southern Canada will be able to watch the waxing, bulging moon slide close under the planet Mars.

But in parts of southern California, the Southern Rocky Mountains, and the Southwestern Desert, as well as most of Texas and Oklahoma and the south, including South Georgia and Florida, the Moon will pass in front of Mars, causing an eclipse or an eclipse of the planet. It can also be seen throughout Mexico, Cuba, and much of Central America.

This event comes nearly eight weeks after the Moon occluded Mars over most of North America (except for parts of the US Southeast and the Atlantic coast). In this case, the Moon was completely illuminated, while Mars was in opposition to the Sun and shone at a dazzling magnitude of almost -2.

Related: Rare Martian eclipse with full moon strikes stargazers with eclipse (video)
Read more: Night Sky January 2023: What to see tonight [maps]

However, for this upcoming game of hide and seek, the Moon will not be as bright (74% illuminance) as Mars. At 29.63 million miles (47.68 million km) from Earth since its December encounter with the moon, Mars now looks less than a quarter brighter.

However, shining at a magnitude of -0.3, it is still considered a brilliant object. Among the stars, only Sirius and Canopus shine brighter, and even for casual observers, the yellow-orange Mars is likely to draw the attention of even casual viewers looking at the Moon on this particular night.

For most of the country, the eclipse or closest approach of the Moon relative to Mars will occur high in the sky, although in the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, the closest approach between the Moon and Mars will occur after local midnight (early Tuesday). on the morning of January 31), both objects hovered only about a quarter of the way above the west-northwest horizon. From Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, the Moon and Mars will hover low over the west-northwest horizon.

impressive mouth

What will make this eclipse much more striking and attractive compared to the one that occurred in early December is the fact that unlike the last time Mars disappeared and reappeared from behind the fully illuminated brightly lit edge of the Moon, this once when the moon approaches. from the west, Mars will disappear behind the dark edge of the moon. The reappearance will occur due to the bright limb.

In addition, to those positioned along the grazing line, which is actually a road approximately 13 miles (21 km) wide, Mars will appear to be only partially covered by the Moon. When examining the map of the adjacent territories of the United States (see .jpg file), you can see that in this section of the sliding path, circled in green, Mars will touch the illuminated part of the Moon’s disk, and in the section circled in black, Mars will pass by the dark part of the disk. / unlit part of the lunar disk. Those within the pasture path will see for a few minutes or more the spectacular spectacle of Mars interacting with the rugged lunar terrain, partially disappearing and then reappearing behind the lunar mountains and valleys.

Notable cities located within or very close to the pasture path include Fresno, California, Kanab, Utah, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Brunswick, Georgia.

Below is a graph listing 12 selected cities where Mars will disappear and then reappear due to the Moon.

The table shows the civil time of the disappearance and appearance of Mars (the time of disappearance and appearance is indicated for the center of Mars). For times marked with an asterisk

calendar date – Jan. 31. Table adapted from data provided by the International Eclipse Timing Association (IOTA).

(will open in a new tab)
Swipe to scroll horizontally

Table 1 – Local conditions for observing the Mars occultation, January. 30-31, 20230 Zonemars scenery disappears. :16MobileCST11:32pm12:13GreenwoodCST23:4023:57MiamiEST12:37*1:27ValdostaEST12:45*1:08San JuanAST1:48*2:35

Unlike a star, which is visible as a speck of light even through a large telescope and seems to instantly disappear and reappear from behind the Moon’s disk, Mars appears as a disk nearly 11 arcseconds across. Thus, unlike a star, the red planet will gradually disappear or reappear in the field of view. In about 30 seconds, the disk of Mars will completely disappear where the coverage is almost central and lasts about an hour and a half, such as in Mexico City, Mexico. The disk of Mars will take longer to completely disappear and reappear farther north, where the planet goes behind the Moon more obliquely. For Greenwood, Mississippi, where the eclipse will last only 17 minutes, it will take the Moon two minutes to completely close and then open Mars.

In any place, the duration of the reappearance is about the same as the disappearance.

For others… miss

For the rest of North America, this will be an extremely close encounter between the Moon and Mars (called an appulsion). The moon, moving around the Earth in an easterly direction at about its own diameter every hour, will appear to slowly creep towards the buffy planet and eventually pass right under it. Although the central and northern United States and southern Canada will miss the eclipse, Mars will stand out noticeably as it appears to be slowly gliding over the Moon. In places like Huntsville, Tulsa, and Atlanta, Mars would be only 1 arc minute from the moon’s limb; they will almost touch each other. To the naked eye, Mars will appear as an amber pearl on the top edge of the moon.

After closest approach, the Moon will slowly move away from Mars during the night hours of January 30-31. Table 2 shows specific data for 15 selected cities in the US and Canada.

The table below shows the civil time (all morning) of Mars’ closest approach to the edge of the lower limb of the Moon. The distance between Mars and the lower edge of the Moon is given in arc minutes (the apparent width of the Moon on January 30-31 is 30 arc minutes).

For times marked with an asterisk
calendar date – Jan. 31.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Table 2 – Local conditions for observing the collision of the Moon and Mars, January 30-31, 2023 501 arc minutes WinnipegCST23:2513 arc minutes Kansas CityCST11:383 arc minutes Tulsa CST11:381 arc minutes Chicago CST11:437 arc minutes MontrealEST12:45*13 arcminutes BostonEST12:50*12 arcminutesNew YorkEST12:50*10 arcminutesV. DCEST12:50*7 arcminutesAtlantaEST12:50*1 arcminutes

Example: from Kansas City, the closest approach is 11:38 pm CST, the distance given is 3 minutes of arc or about 1/10 of the moon’s width would separate Mars from the upper edge of the moon.

Calculated by Joe Rao exclusively for

If you want to see a front-row eclipse of Mars by the Moon, our guides to the best telescopes and best binoculars are a great place to find the equipment you need. If you want to take some photos of the event, check out our best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses. Editor’s Note: If you have a great photo of Mars occultation by the Moon and would like to share it with readers, please send your photos, comments, your name and location to spacephotos@.Joe Rao is an instructor and guest lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York. (will open in a new tab). He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine. (will open in a new tab) Farmer’s Almanac (will open in a new tab) and other publications. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab)and on facebook

(will open in a new tab).

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.