The Moon eats Venus during April 6 2016 occultation


On the morning of April 6, 2016, the Moon swallowed up Venus during an event called occultation by specialists.

It was cloudy in Switzerland but astronomers at Teide Observatory, located on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, recorded this amazing timelapse of this rare space event.

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Youtube video

Yes, the Moon slipped directly in front of Venus in the sky, and literally ate the Planet.

Occultations like this are relatively rare. If all the planets and moons orbited the Sun in exactly the same plane, we’d see occultations all the time.

But in reality all the orbits are tilted a little bit. Venus circles the Sun in an orbit canted by about 3° compared to Earth’s. The Moon’s orbit is tilted by 5 °. The Moon orbits the Earth once per month or so, but it usually passes by Venus, missing it by a bit because the orbits aren’t aligned.

But sometimes, every few years, the dance comes together, and the Moon wil slip directly in front of Venus.

An occultation must be an amazing thing to see. Did you observe it?

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