Moon to pass in front (lunar occultation) of the bright star Elnath on January 22

The moon will pass in front of the bright star Elnath (Beta Tauri) on Monday, January 22, 2024, creating a lunar occultation.

A lunar occultation is an astronomical event that occurs when a planet or star disappears behind the moon as seen from the earth.

Visibility map of the lunar occultation of Elnath (Beta Tauri) on January 22, 2024
Visibility map of the lunar occultation of Elnath (Beta Tauri) on January 22, 2024. (Image credit: in-the-sky.org)

The lunar occultation of Elnath (Beta Tauri) will be seen in the countries of French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, and Pitcairn.

However, a close conjunction of the moon and Elnath will be visible across the world on January 22, 2024, which means the moon will appear very close to the bright star Elnath (Beta Tauri) in the sky.

The moon will rise in the afternoon of January 21, 2024, and set in the early morning of January 22, 2024, and will be in the waxing gibbous phase.

Moon near the bright star Elnath on January 22, 2024
Moon near the bright star Elnath in the early morning of January 22, 2024. (Image credit: Stellarium)

Observers in the US and Canada will see the moon near Elnath in the early morning of January 22, 2024, and observers in Australia and New Zealand will see the moon near Elnath or occult Elnath in the evening of January 22, 2024.

Elnath is the second brightest star in the zodiac constellation Taurus and overall 27th brightest star in the sky.

As Elnath shines with +1.65 magnitude so the pair will be seen with unaided eye. However for better visibility you can use a pair of binoculars or telescope if you have it.

The time of disappearance and reappearance of Elnath (Beta Tauri) behind the moon on January 22 for each country according to in-the-sky.org is given below:

CountryDisappearance time (UTC)Reappearance time (UTC)
French Polynesia08:3509:42
Tonga07:4008:26
New Zealand07:2008:43
Cook Islands08:0509:19
Niue07:51 08:41
Pitcairn09:2809:46

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get latest space news, upcoming skywatching events and astronomy-related content.

Photo of author

About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

Related Articles

Saturn next to the waning crescent moon on the morning of May 31, 2024

Saturn to shine near the moon on the morning of May 31

FacebookTweetPinShares Saturn will be visible very close to the 43% illuminated waning crescent moon on ...

Earthshine is visible on the unlit part of the crescent moon

Earthshine to be visible on the unlit part of the moon from June 1-4

FacebookTweetPinShares Have you ever noticed earthshine, the beautiful glow on the darkened part of the ...

ESA’s AllSky7 camera in Caceres, Spain, spotted the stunning fireball on Saturday night, May 18, 2024

Bright fireball lights up the skies over Spain and Portugal on May 18 night

FacebookTweetPinShares An exceedingly bright fireball lights up the skies over Spain and Portugal on Saturday, ...

Radiant position of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower

Eta Aquariid meteor shower set to peak tonight sky

FacebookTweetPinShares You will see a spectacular celestial show in the sky as the Eta Aquariid ...

Leave a Comment