Stargazers and the public can witness a rare astronomical event tonight as the Moon passes in front of Venus causing the bright planet to temporarily disappear from the night sky.
The last event such event took place during daylight on May 27, 2022 and will not happen again until May 27, 2039.
The lunar occultation is only visible from a limited part of the world, according to the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD). It will be visible from South Africa, Indonesia and South Asia.
Venus shines brightly at magnitude -4.0 making it easily visible to the unaided eyes. It is, in fact, the third brightest celestial body in the sky after the Sun and the Moon.
An hour after sunset, Venus will appear like a bright “star” just a few degrees away from the Moon.
Weather permitting, stargazers in Brunei should be able to see the brilliant “evening star” approaching the Moon before the occultation.
According to the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA), Venus disappears behind the Moon at 8.05pm from Brunei. As this occultation involves three-day-old waxing lunar crescent, Venus will hide behind the unilluminated side of the moon.
The planet will then re-emerge from behind the moon’s sunlit edge approximately 28 minutes later at 8.33pm. From Brunei, the reappearance will occur at a low altitude of about two degrees, and a clear unobstructed view of western horizon is needed to sight the unique event.