April 1, 2023

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Tonight, "magical" and rare celestial events will occur with the lunar eclipse of Mars.  Here's how to watch.

Tonight, “magical” and rare celestial events will occur with the lunar eclipse of Mars. Here’s how to watch.

Wednesday will be a “magical” night in the realm of stars as four celestial events take place among the heavens.

The day will end with the earliest sunset of the year, with a Mars opposition, and a rare event in which December’s full moon, known as the “cold moon,” temporarily drives out Mars.

According to NASA, the sun will set before 4:45 PM EST on Wednesday, and twilight will end at 5:49 PM EST. While it will bring early darkness, it will also set the stage for a wonderful starry night. Besides the full moon, viewers will be able to observe multiple planets near its glow: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, the last of which will be directly opposite the sun, an event known as Mars opposition.

The full moon on Wednesday is known as cold moon Because of the “long, cold nights” that winter brings, according to NASA, citing the Maine Farmer’s Almanac. It is also known as the Frost Moon and Winter Moon in the calendar, as well as the Yule Moon and Oak Moon in Europe.

But the main event is not just the moon itself. With Mars’ closest and brightest appearance of the year, NASA said the moon will gradually shift closer to the red planet. In some global regions, the moon will appear to block Mars from view, an event known as a full moon hide.

“December 7th brings one of those magical moments when the sky changes dramatically before your eyes,” NASA says in a video highlighting the sky observation.

Parts of North America, Europe, and North Africa will be able to see the unseen, NASA said, while those in the southeastern and eastern coast of the United States will see the Moon “grazing next to Mars.”

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What’s up: December 2022 skywatching tips from NASA by
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on me

Visions should last about an hour for most people. NASA said those in Minneapolis will see Mars disappear around 9:03 PM CST and reappear around 10:11 PM, while those in Los Angeles will be able to observe the phenomenon from around 6:31 PM PST. to 7:31 p.m. The moon will be at its highest at 11:08 PM EDT.

NASA said the event represented “a relatively rare opportunity to see a bright planet obscured by the moon.”

“The Moon passes in front of the planets in the night sky several times a year. In fact, it generally obscures Mars at least twice a year,” NASA said. “But each occultation is only visible from a small part of the Earth’s surface, so it’s not very common for any particular spot on Earth to see it frequently.”

For those who are outside areas where unseen viewing is possible, or who may not have clear skies during celestial events, there are live streams available to watch them unfold in real time. Here’s how you can watch (all times listed below are EST):

  • The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 You will have a note online starting at 11pm
  • The University of Texas will host the McDonald Observatory in Austin along with Flagstaff, the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Live broadcast Starting at 9 pm
  • Southern California Griffith Observatory She will be hosting a live broadcast starting at 9 p.m
  • Carnegie astronomer Live broadcast It will start at 9:15 p.m
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