Uranus

Uranus will vanish during Wednesday night’s ‘lunar occultation.’

Uranus
Uranus may soon be hidden.

Depending on where you are on Wednesday night (September 14), you may be able to see Uranus disappear. (Don’t worry; it’ll return in a few hours.)

The sixth planet from the sun will appear to pass directly behind Earth’s moon on Wednesday, disappearing completely from view for three and a half hours. According to In-the-sky.org, the great disappearing act, also known as the lunar occultation of Uranus, begins at 4:41 p.m. ET (2041 GMT) and ends at 8:11 p.m. ET (0011 GMT on Sept. 15). Only viewers in Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia, however, will be at the exact right angle to see the illusion work. Because Uranus is not visible with the naked eye, viewers in these areas will need binoculars or a telescope to see the show.

If you are not in one of those locations or do not have a telescope, don’t worry; the occultation will be streamed live from Rome by the Virtual Telescope Project, which will begin streaming the event at 4:45 p.m. ET (2045 GMT).

Any astronomical event in which one object appears hidden behind another is referred to as occultation. This is distinct from an eclipse, which occurs when one object directly casts its shadow on another, such as when the moon’s shadow falls over Earth during a solar eclipse.

Because the moon is so large in our sky, lunar occultations are the most commonly seen from Earth. However, because the moon is so close to Earth, its position in the sky may appear slightly different depending on where you are on the planet. As a result, all lunar occultations are visible only to narrow swaths of the globe with the exact right viewing angle.

Fortunately, these occurrences occur frequently, so another lunar disappearance is never far away. The most recent lunar occultation of Uranus visible from the United States and Canada occurred just last month, on August 18, according to Live Science’s sister site Space.com.

Because the moon is so large in our sky, lunar occultations are the most commonly seen from Earth. However, because the moon is so close to Earth, its position in the sky may appear slightly different depending on where you are on the planet. As a result, all lunar occultations are visible only to narrow swaths of the globe with the exact right viewing angle.

Fortunately, these occurrences occur frequently, so another lunar disappearance is never far away. The most recent lunar occultation of Uranus visible from the United States and Canada occurred just last month, on August 18, according to Live Science’s sister site Space.com.\

Because the moon is so large in our sky, lunar occultations are the most commonly seen from Earth. However, because the moon is so close to Earth, its position in the sky may appear slightly different depending on where you are on the planet. As a result, all lunar occultations are visible only to narrow swaths of the globe with the exact right viewing angle.

Fortunately, these occurrences occur frequently, so another lunar disappearance is never far away. The most recent lunar occultation of Uranus visible from the United States and Canada occurred just last month, on August 18, according to Live Science’s sister site Space.com.

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