People in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Central America will be able to see a lunar occultation of Mars on January 30. The Moon, which will be 78 percent full, will cover the Red Planet as the two bodies move in the sky. After several hours, Mars will pop up again on the other side of our natural satellite.
The event will start late in the evening local time and will continue until the early hours of the morning. Mars will appear to approach the Moon from the dark limb portion before disappearing. It will then reappear as the Moon is closer to the west.
If you are thinking: “wait a minute! Didn’t we just have a lunar occultation of Mars like last month?” You’d be correct. The one on December 8 was visible across Western Europe and North America, but there was also one on January 3 visible across the Indian Ocean and Central Africa. And there will be yet another one on February 28, visible around the North Pole.
Lunar occultations of planets can happen several times per year but they can’t be seen by everyone on Earth at once. But if you want to see Mars and you’re not in one of the lucky locations, you can still easily spot it by looking for the reddish object near the Moon in the sky.