Mercury Occultation on October 24

Experienced observers will have a unique opportunity to watch the almost-new Moon slip in front of fast-moving Mercury just after 10:20 am EDT on October 24. This will be a difficult occultation to spot as the Moon and Mercury are only 10 degrees away from the Sun. It will only be visible through a telescope.

Occultations occur when an object, such as the Moon, passes in front of another celestial body from our view on Earth. During this occultation, the thin crescent Moon will cover Mercury for about one hour. Mercury will disappear behind the lit side of the Moon at 10:22 am and reappear on the unlit side at 11:18 am.

CAUTION: Proper protection is needed to view this event! DO NOT scan the skies with your telescope, hoping to spot the Moon. Only observe this occultation with proper safety precautions in place to protect your eyes and equipment.

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie