Rare Mars occultation in Brunei skies

Photos show lunar gazers at the event last night. PHOTOS: PABD

Clear skies here last night allowed for the easy viewing of a rare Mars occultation, where the Red Planet disappeared behind the crescent moon.

The phenomenon that happened for about 10 seconds at 9.29pm saw the moon passing in front of Mars creating a lunar occultation visible only from a small region of central Asia including Brunei.

Over 20 members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) took part in a viewing in Jerudong last night.

To the naked eye, Mars looked like a bright “red star” close to the moon at around 8pm. It got closer to the moon by 9pm before disappearing at 9.29pm.

PABD said that an occultation is an astronomical phenomenon when one object is obscured by another object that passes between it and the observer.

The last Mars occultation from Brunei occurred in May 2008. The next in Brunei is set to take place 77 years later, on Feb 7,2098. — Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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