Beijing, March 3 (Zhongxin Net) -- When Venus meets the moon, what kind of astronomical scene will appear? The "lunar occultation of Venus", which appeared in the sky on March 24, has become the object of attention of many astronomy enthusiasts.

In this regard, Zheng Jie, assistant researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that globally, lunar occultations of Venus appear once or twice a year. Domestically, the next night-visible occultation of Venus will occur in 2026.

Venus, which appears to be very bright, is very close in size to Earth, but has a thick and corrosive atmosphere in its outer layers. Its natural environment is so bad that it is almost impossible for known creatures on Earth to survive on Venus.

What is "lunar occultation of Venus"?

The appearance of "Lunar Occultation Venus" on the 24th will be with the arrival of twilight, a moth-eyed moon will descend in the sky, and Venus will enter from the dark edge of the moon and reappear from the bright edge.

Data map: Recently, NASA released this composite map of Venus taken by the Magellan spacecraft and the Venus Precursor orbiter. NASA believes that Venus was once habitable and is ready to study the planet further.

"The lunar occultation of Venus is when viewed from the earth, and the moon just obscures Venus." Zheng Jie analyzed that because most of the celestial bodies in the solar system are in and near the ecliptic, planets, moons, etc. often approach each other.

For example, the "Venus conjunction Jupiter" that appeared not long ago, and the "starry smiley" composed of double planets and crescents that appeared before, and so on.

"Simply put, when the lunar occultation of Venus occurs, the Earth, the Moon, and Venus are lined up in a straight line. But because the Moon is much smaller than Earth, the lunar occultation of Venus can only be seen from the central band of the eclipse. He said.

According to previous media reports, the lunar occultation of Venus can be seen in the evening in China, which is very worth seeing, and most areas south of the Yellow River Basin have the opportunity to see the interesting scene of Venus being "swallowed" by the small crescent.

How to observe?

It has been said that Venus shares many similarities with Earth.

For example, Venus is about 85.5% of Earth's mass, while Venus' mass is about 81.5% Earth's mass; In other words, both are similar in size and quality. Therefore, many people have fantasized that maybe one day humans can colonize Venus.

Data map: Beijing, the weather is good, after the sun sets, the astronomical landscape of Tianyu "Venus and Moon" is clearly visible. Photo by Sun Zifa, reporter of China News Agency

"People often say that the conjunction of Venus and the occultation of Venus are actually the effects of the same event seen in different places. The Moon can be seen obscuring Venus in the occultation area, and only the Venus conjunction can be seen outside the occultation area. Zheng Jie explained.

Globally, lunar occultations of Venus occur once or twice a year, but the area where this spectacle can be seen is a very narrow strip of space, and most of the time it occurs during the day, which is not conducive to viewing.

Zheng Jie mentioned that domestically, the next night-visible lunar occultation of Venus will occur in 2026.

"Observing the lunar occultation of Venus, you can directly observe it with the naked eye, Venus, as the brightest star in the night sky except the moon, has been shining low in the west in the evening in recent days, which is very dazzling." He said.

What is the real Venus?

In ancient times, Venus had several names, such as "Daystar" and "Chang Gung Star". It's just that Venus, which looks bright and beautiful, is in a very bad environment.

Among the planets of the solar system, Venus and Earth are similar, but different. Zheng Jie said that although Venus is very close in size to Earth, the outer layer of Venus has a thick and extremely corrosive atmosphere.

Data map: A romantic celestial phenomenon of "Venus conjunction with the moon" appeared at low altitude in the southeast of Korla City, Xinjiang. Photo by Que Hure

"High temperatures close to 500 ° C, high pressures equivalent to <> times the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere, and an atmosphere filled with highly corrosive gases and acid rain, this is the natural environment on Venus, where known organisms on Earth are almost impossible to survive." Zheng Jie said.

He explained that humans had sent probes to Venus, but it was not until 1970 that probes were successfully landed on the surface of Venus. If Venus does have life, it would mean that life in the universe would be much more extensive than we thought.

"Another characteristic of Venus is that its rotation direction is from east to west, so when you see the sunrise on Venus, the sun will rise from the west." Zheng Jie said. (End)