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Crescent moon, Venus adorned night sky; captivated sky gazers

Most commonly occultation is used to describe an occasion when moon comes in front of a star, like Venus, during the course of its orbital motion around the Earth.

In what can be termed as a celestial show that enthralled the sky gazers in most parts of Southeast Asia, the crescent moon eclipsed Venus last night.

Called the planetary occultation by the astronomers, the event occurred when crescent moon came between Earth and Venus on Sunday.

Occultation mesmerizes observers
To the naked eye, the phenomenon was visible like a bright star (Venus) appearing on top of crescent moon.

Though the astronomical event was not visible in Americas or Europe, most of the observers in Northern Africa, Middle East and Southern Asia witnessed the occultation.

Occultation, which is described as the event that takes place when an object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer, is not a very rare astronomical occurrence.

For instance a sky gazer named angel carzaI wrote on earthsky.org “saw it too, really amazing and it comes out once in a blue moon…venus sitting above the crescent moon tonight here in cavite phils…it was wonderful to behold…so great! I wonder if it has a meaning or something? but above all..I love it…”

Understanding occultation
Occultation, which is described as the event that takes place when an object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer, is not a very rare astronomical occurrence.

The moon occults planets throughout the year, and if one is positioned in the right place, and the right time, it is visible to the naked eye.

Most commonly, occultation is used to describe an occasion when moon comes in front of a star, like Venus, during the course of its orbital motion around the Earth.

In such an instance, the star that is eclipsed by the moon disappears or reappears on moon’s edge.

Last time Venus was eclipsed by moon on April 22, 2009, and the occultation was visible to observers in North America. In Asia, it was last witnessed on June 18, 2007.

It will be next visible on June 30, 2011 in Asia, but one will have to wait till Sept.16, 2036 to see the occultation at night.