Moon eclipses Venus
 - on 30 June 11
  - Lunar occultation of Venus 

by Arvind Paranjpye ( )

On the 30th of June, 2011 the moon will come directly between the Earth and Venus and for a while the planet will be right behind the moon. When this will happen it would be broad day light in India. However, the event is observable, The event will be seen first in Kandla, Gujrat at about 1:03 p.m. Silchar will be the one of the last places in India to where the event will take place at 1:57 p.m.  Then after about one hour 20 minute later Venus will come out from behind the moon.

Venus can be seen in broad day light if the sky is clear. But rarely people see the planet as they do not know where to look for it. But with the reference of the moon it can be spotted without much difficulty.

A similar event took place in 1998.  In the afternoon of April 23rd, the moon covered Venus and Jupiter.  This event was widely observed across the country.  Most people reported seeing Venus in broad day light and there were a few others who reported spotting Jupiter too.

On June 30, '11, It will take about 30 seconds for Venus to disappear completely behind the moon and then similar time to reappear again.

The disappearance and reappearance of Venus for different cities in India are given below.  

How to find Venus on 30th of June - the moon rises about 1h 30min before the local sun rise.  Venus follows the moon after about 10 minutes.  Check for the sunrise time on the previous day.

The picture to the left depicts the sky above the eastern horizon about 30 minutes before the local sunrise.  Venus will be about two and half degrees below the crescent moon.  As the day breaks it would be difficult to spot Venus but with the reference of crescent Venus can be seen without much difficulty. A pair of 7x50 binoculars would be very useful for this observations.

As the day progresses the separation between Venus and the moon will start reducing. Until a time will come when Venus will be too close to the lunar limb and then it would be gone gradually. 

IUCAA will be making arrangements for live web casting of the event. Bookmark this page and visit  again on 30th of June for details of live web cast.

Caution  -- The sun will be just about 12 degrees east of the moon and one must take extra care  while pointing their binoculars towards.

Looking at the sun directly, can cause permanent/irreversible damages to eye/ratina

Timings of Disappearance and reappearance for cities in India

City Disappearance  Reappearance
Agra 13:21:32 14:46:18
Amravati 13:26:14 14:58:33
Amritsar       13:12:45 14:31:32
Bangalure 13:41:27 15:05:05
Chennai   13:45:34 15:09:22
Cochin 13:48:39 15:01:52
Dehra Dun 13:21:27 14:37:43
Hyderabad 13:33:22 15:03:37
Indore 13:19:17 14:53:09
IUCAA IGO 13:19:45 14:55:04
Jaipur 13:15:36 14:44:52
Japal Rangapore   12:13:34  15:04:19
Jodhpur 13:08:13 14:42:55
Kandla        13:03:29 14:43:56
Kolkata     13:48:22 15:02:40
Kottayam 13:49:51 15:02:17
Lucknow    13:29:23 14:49:14
Masoori 13:21:35 14:37:21
Mt. Abu 13:08:47 14:45:42
Raipur 13:34:25 15:01:38
Mumbai 13:17:31 14:53:26
Nagpur 13:29:21 14:59:32
Naini Tal  13:25:16 14:41:25
Nanded  13:27:59 15:00:12
New Delhi 13:18:59 14:41:55 
Silchar 13:57:28 14:56:37
Siliguri    13:48:03 14:51:38
Pune 13:20:40 14:55:31
Srinagar   13:14:37 14:22:53
Udaipur   13:11:21 14:47:00

Some past events:
The event when the moon comes directly between the earth and a distant celestial body is technically called occultations. Solar eclipse is, technically an occultation of the sun by the moon, however we identify the event as 'eclipse'

Occultation of Venus or other planets by the Moon are  not very rare event though. The Moon does occults planets every now and then. On April 14, 2007, the Moon occulted Mars. It occulted Mars again on May 10, 2008.  The disappearance and reappearance were recorded at IUCAA.

On  November 10, 2004, India witnessed occultation of Venus by the Moon in the pre dawn hours. That morning Venus disappeared at the brighter limb of the Moon.

On June 18, 2007 Venus was occulted by the moon.  It was soon after the sunset. Do visit this link for some very nice images of the event.

Day time events - The above events were seen when the sun was still below the horizon and the sky was dark.  There were other events which took place during the day time.

On May 29, 2003 India witnessed a day time occultation of Venus by the Moon,  that is the disappearing and reappearing act took place when the Sun was above the horizon.

The event that was widely observed from Indian was double occultation of Jupiter and Venus. It took place on April 23, 1998.  The event took place around 1:30 p.m. local time. Many had claimed that they could see Jupiter with their naked eyes, close to the brighter limb of the Moon.

The earlier double occultation of Venus and Jupiter that took place was on August 18, 567 AD. It  was visible over the Indian Ocean.

On April 23rd, 1998  Mr Suhas Gujar from Pune took series of pictures using his PANTAX camera loaded with Kodak 200 ISO colour film.

The photograph on the right was taken him just before dawn of the day. The two 'dots' are Venus and Jupiter. The brighter one is Venus.

For this picture he used 300 mm lens





The pictures below were taken just before Venus disappeared behind the moon.  The first photograph was clicked at 14:17 hrs  just when a bird was seen projected over the lunar disk.  Venus was occulted shortly after the second photograph was taken a minute later at 14:18 hrs. He 800 mm lens with the same camera and the film as above.  


 Suhas Gurjar is an engineer by profession and avid amateur astronomer.
His interest range from mountaineering to general photography.

We invite you to contribute your images and observations to these pages