Posted by BC on January 17th, 2008
On Thursday night/Friday morning (08 Jan 18 07:00:00 UT), observers can go out and watch as the Moon passes in front of, or very near, the Pleiades Star Cluster (M45). The Moon will be about 77% sunlit, so many of the fainter members of the cluster may be missed because of the moonglow. Observers in certain areas of North America will see occultations, yet others the Moon pass very near the cluster.
If you miss the Pleiades Star Cluster occultation, try to watch as the Moon blocks the view of Mars. The Mars occultation occurs on 08 Jan 20 00:00:00 UT for some observers in northern Russia, the northwest tip of USA, and some Arctic regions. Even though the Moon will be closer to the Full phase, Mars should be easily visible against the slice of dark lunar limb. The Mars/Moon conjunction will provide a nice photo op, nonetheless.
Other lunar occultations this month include: Beehive Cluster (M44) and Regulus. To find predictions for occultations in your area, consult the IOTA (International Occultation Timing Association) site to download the software to run your own prediction lists.