Science/Tech

Watch: Man Sees Saturn Passing Behind The Moon [VIDEO]

A man just witnessed a rare celestial event involving the Moon and Saturn. Astrophotographer Cory Schmitz saw an occultation. 

Currently based in South Africa, Schmitz captured the event on March 31, when Saturn crossed the Moon, Universe Today reported. The occultation only occurred for a few seconds, but the photographer was quick to capture it and share it to the world. 

"What a view it was!" Schmitz said in an Instagram post. "I love these astro events: they get my blood pumping."

Schmitz used a ASI290mm monochrome camera and a Ritchey–Chrétien telescope to capture the image of Saturn and the Moon. He also made a video of Saturn sliding out from behind the Moon using infrared.

The lunar occultation happened in daytime, which made it challenging for Schmitz to observe the event and get a shot. 

"I had to make a composite image because the Moon is far greater than the brightness of Saturn,” he said. "To get a decent image I needed to use much higher gain for Saturn, which would blow out the Moon exposure. So the Moon and Saturn were processed and separately combined."

In his video, Saturn can be seen with its rings but it’s 47 times smaller than the Moon. 

What Schmitz saw was one of a series of occultations expected this year. Experts said Saturn and the Moon might meet 14 times this year, also once every month. Most of the events would be visible in the southern hemisphere. 

The next occultation is expected to happen on April 25, which would be visible in New Zealand, followed by another one on May 22 for those in South Africa.

After these events in 2019, experts said the world might see the Moon occult Saturn again in mid-2024. This event is expected on April 6 of that year, just two days prior the solar eclipse that would appear over North America.

The first occultation of Saturn by the Moon this year happened on Feb. 2. The past event was seen in the city of Casablanca in Morocco.

Watch Schmitz’s video of Saturn and the Moon below!

 

Loading...