Filipinos witness rare ‘lunar occultation’



By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA— On Sunday night, around 7p.m., I was about to have dinner when my family received a call from a relative abroad to check how “heavenly beautiful” the moon is at that time.

I later learned that it was a rare celestial hide-and-seek of the moon and planet Venus, visible only to those living in some parts of Asia, including the Philippines.

According to Henry So, treasurer of the Astronomical League of the Philippines, the event is a “lunar occultation”, which occurs when one planetary object is hidden by another object.

In this case, the Moon came directly between Venus and Earth, making Venus look like a big, bright star—as seen by the naked eye—appearing directly above the moon.

“It was really beautiful and very special because it takes years before you can see one,” says So, who took photos of the rare phenomenon.

Amateur photographers likewise took advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Blogger “Erika V” also posted photos and videos she took from the Manila Observatory in Quezon City. Blogger Lois likened it to an Islamic symbol called “hilal”.

Photos courtesy of Henry So

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