WHAT IS IT?
An occultation occurs when a planet (or an asteroid) passes between an object in the distance and the object’s observer.
According to the science publication EarthSky, the event promises to be the last time three planets are almost simultaneously occulted by the moon until 2036.
The discovery of the rings of Uranus can be credited to a 1977 occultation with a far-off star, after NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory spotted the stunning feature against its brighter backdrop during the celestial event.
Almost! Venus Moon conjunction about 20min before occultation, before the clouds came! 18 Sep 2017.https://t.co/UOqLvOJ4f4pic.twitter.com/F1asc5oIxJ— Shahrin.Ahmad (Shah) (@shahgazer) September 18, 2017
The best place on Earth to see the moon glide between us and Mars will be around the islands of Hawaii at 20:00 GMT.
People on board ships in the South Pacific could also get an eyeful of the Mercury occult before midnight on Monday – should they have a telescope handy.
In the current round of lunar fly-bys, people living around Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia should have already experienced the occultation of Venus and Regulas, which took place between 01:00 and 05:00 GMT.
Already, people have posted messages and photos on instagram and other social media platforms after witnessing the astonishing event.