Watch Saturn emerge from behind the Moon

"Peek-a-boo!" says the ringed planet
saturn occultation An enhanced image of Saturn emerging from behind the Moon on March 29. (Cory Schmitz/Twitter)


The incredible thing about space? All the, well, space in between the objects out there. Our nearest neighbor, the Moon, is 384,400 kilometres (238,855 miles) away. Meanwhile, the planet Saturn is 1.4 billion kilometres (886 million miles) from the Sun. With all of this distance between objects, it's kind of amazing to think of such objects ever crossing paths.

And while it's true that Saturn and the Moon are never going to actually bump into one another (thankfully!), from our perspective here on Earth, they do sometimes overlap. This is called occultation... and its been captured on video!

The world of the occult(ation)

You may have heard the term "The occult", which is used to describe the world of witches and magic and the supernatural. What does that have to do with Saturn hiding behind the Moon?

Well, occult comes from the Latin word occultus, meaning "hidden or secret". In the English word occult, this refers to secret knowledge or worlds. But in occultation, it literally means something being hidden behind an object.

This sneaky space action was recorded on video on Friday, March 29 by South African astrophotographer Cory Schmitz. Cory used a bunch of enhancing techniques to give us this clear view. Not to mention a bunch of patience! And though it's a rare thing for us to see like this, the Moon will actually occult Saturn 14 times in 2019. (Then not again until April 2024.)

Check out the hidden world for yourself below!


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