Image Credit & Copyright: Cristian Fattinnanzi
The term ‘Occultation’ is used to describe occasions when the Moon passes in front of a star during the course of its orbital motion around the Earth.
Although I missed this celestial event, many skygazers around the planet enjoyed this Close Encounter of the Planet Jupiter and the Moon on July the 15th, in predawn skies. And while many saw the bright Jupiter next to the slender, waning crescent, in England we had the opportunity to watch the ruling gas giant pass behind the lunar disk, occulted by the Moon as it slid through the night. In this stunning image by Cristian Fattinnanzi with clouds threatening to hamper his telescopic view from Montecassiano, Italy, but in this frame he still manages to capture Jupiter after it emerged from the Occultation along with all four of its large Galilean moons. The sunlit crescent is perfectly overexposed by Cristian with the Moon’s night side faintly illuminated by Earthshine. Lined up left to right beyond the dark lunar limb are Callisto, Ganymede, Jupiter, Io, and Europa.