Mineral Moon and Mars Occultation

April 13, 2023


Photographer: Chris Kotsiopoulos  

Summary Author: Chris Kotsiopoulos 

This is a processed image of the full Moon of December 7, 2022, and the lunar occultation of Mars. It was captured from Reading, England in the early morning hours of December 8. Seeing the planet Mars disappear behind the Moon (the red speck on the edge of the Moon, at lower left) and emerge after an hour was quite an experience. Temperatures were below freezing at 5:00 a.m. and frost was all over my equipment, but it was worth every second! 

After a demanding post-process, I managed to create an image that combines several Moon features. Moon colors, though real here, have been greatly exaggerated in post-processing to better indicate our satellite’s geology. The glow is the actual moonglow from an overexposed image.

Although Mars is about twice the size of our Moon, it looks really small as it is 200 times farther than the Moon at its closest approach. Planet occultation is a rare event occurring every few years. Click here to see a video of this occultation.

Photo details: Celestron C90 telescope; ASI 120mm Mini camera; Star Adventurer Pro mount.

Post-processing details: I shot the Moon using a monochrome camera and added the color in the post-process; stacked in AutoStakkert; post process in Photoshop.


Reading, England Coordinates: 51.4551, 0.9787

Related Links:

Occultation of Mars by the Moon

Chris' Website