The planet Mars vanished from San Diego’s night sky early this evening!
Members of the San Diego Astronomy Association had telescopes trained on the Red Planet near the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park when it disappeared!
But nobody seemed in the least distressed.
That’s because those gazing skyward understood the moon in its orbit around the Earth had begun to pass “over” much more distant Mars, in what is called a lunar occultation of Mars.
Random people walking through Balboa Park came up and were invited to peer through the telescopes. At times the instruments were aimed at the planet Jupiter and its four largest moons that were made plainly visible: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
Families and kids looked into space with a sense of wonder. Many then entered the Fleet Science Center to view the monthly planetarium show The Sky Tonight, where we saw the latest jaw-dropping images from the James Webb Space Telescope.
When the presentation ended an hour later, and we all went outside, Mars had returned!
The next image was captured by my small camera a few minutes before the lunar occultation of Mars. I set it on maximum zoom.
You can’t see the moon’s craters, but you can see fuzzy little red Mars!
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