On May 22nd, just days after sharing the western evening sky
with Venus, the Moon moved
on to Saturn -
actually passing in
front of the ringed planet when viewed in skies over
Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia.
Because the Moon and bright planets wander through the sky
near the ecliptic plane, such
occultation events are
not uncommon, but they are
dramatic, especially in
For example, in this sharp image Saturn is captured
from behind the Moon, giving the illusion
that it lies just beyond the Moon's bright edge.
Of course, the Moon is a mere 400 thousand kilometers away,
compared to Saturn's distance of 1.4
a digital camera and 20 inch diameter telescope
at the Weikersheim Observatory in southern Germany,
the picture is a single exposure adjusted to reduce the
difference in brightness between Saturn and the
cratered lunar surface.