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Rare Venus occultation tomorrow


NEW DELHI: A rare sight awaits astro-enthusiasts tomorrow when the thin crescent moon will come directly between Earth and Venus and the planet will be right behind the moon.

The event will be seen first in Kandla, Gujarat, at about 1:03 pm. Silchar will be one of the last places in the country where the event will take place at 1:57 pm, Arvind Paranjpye of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics told PTI.

In the national capital, Venus will be covered by the bright edge of the Moon at about 13:18:59 pm and emerge from its dark side at 14:41:55 pm, C B Devgun of SPACE said.

The longest duration of Venus occultation is at Japal Rangapore, Andhra Pradesh, where the planet will disappear at 12:13:34 PM and reappear at 15:04:19 pm. The spectacle can be seen only if there is a clear sky.

An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer, he said.

Across the globe, this lunar occultation of Venus is visible in Africa, Middle East and Asia. In western Africa, it can be observed before sunrise while the other countries will witness it during the day time. The first location where the Moon eclipses Venus will be Tripoli, Libya at 05:44 UT.

It will take about 30 seconds for the planet to disappear completely behind the moon and same time to reappear again, he said.

The event can be observed with a pair of binoculars. The last Venus occultations seen from India were on Jun 18, 2007, and May 16, 2010 (daytime). The next occultation is on Feb 26, 2014, R C Kapoor of Indian Institute of Astrophysics said.

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2011 by in Science and tagged , , , .

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