Nanjing, March 3 (Reporter Yang Yanci) The reporter learned from the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on the 23rd that a wonderful fairy tale of the starry sky - lunar occultation of Venus will be staged in the sky on March 23. The brightest star in the night sky will play peek-a-boo with the moon, and most of China's southern Yellow River basin can see the lunar occultation of Venus.

The so-called lunar occultation of Venus is the phenomenon that the moon occludes Venus in the direction of its line of sight during its operation.

Wang Kechao, director of science popularization at the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced that March 3 is the third day of the second lunar leap month, the moon phase is crescent-shaped, 24.9% of the lunar surface is illuminated, and the brightness of Venus is about -2 magnitude. In central and southern China, bright Venus can be seen obscured by the dark edge of the Moon (the part of the moon's edge that is not illuminated by the Sun), the bright edge (the part of the moon's edge illuminated by the Sun) coming back, and in the northern regions, the moon can be seen passing quickly not far south of the bright Venus.

According to records, the last lunar occultation of Venus was visible in China on May 2022, 5, and although it was daytime, Venus is very bright and not far from the sun, and can still be observed with the help of telescopes. The next occultation of Venus will not be visible in China until September 27, 2026, and will only be visible in southwestern China, including Yunnan and Guangxi.

Wang Kechao introduced that when the moon occultates stars, the stars that are eclipsed are usually "fleeting" and then "quickly reappear". However, for occultation of Venus, a large object in the solar system with a relatively large apparent diameter, it will be slightly "slowed down", and Venus will gradually be obscured by the edge of the moon, and the process from the beginning to the complete eclipse may last tens of seconds.

The time of the beginning of lunar occultations of Venus is not the same in different parts of China, with the western part predating the eastern part. Taking the Nanjing area as an example, the occultation of Venus occurs at 19:59, the episcuration insection is 20:00, the episcure insection is 20:37, the occultation episcient time is 20:38, and the moonset time is about 21 o'clock.

Since both Venus and the Moon are relatively bright, as long as the weather is clear, choose a place with no shelter in the west, and the public can enjoy this celestial phenomenon, even in the city. (End)