An eclipse-like event will cause Mars to vanish from the sky over North America early Tuesday morning in a rare event known to astronomers as a lunar occultation.
Similar to an eclipse when the Earth, moon and sun fall in line, during an occultation, the Earth, moon and a planet align. As a result, the Red Planet will be hidden from sight as it appears to pass directly behind the moon during Tuesday’s event.
“A lunar occultation involving a planet is a rare event,” AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said. “There are only a few per decade as seen from any given spot on the globe.”
People do not need a telescope to see the event as the moon and Mars are both bright enough to see with the unaided eye, but knowing when to look will be extremely important — as will the weather conditions.