On Sunday September 8th the crescent moon will pass right in front of Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. For UK observers this is a daytime event so telescopes will be necessary to see it.
I made an animation showing this will look from the UK (specifically from Northumberland).
The Moon is close enough to the Earth for it's parallax to make a big difference on how this occultation looks: for example, move further south on the Earth and the Moon seems to shift northwards against the background stars. That changes the timing and length of the occultation.
The following map shows from where this event is visible.
Even if this particular occultation isn't visible for you then chances are you'll be able another over the coming months. Lunar occulations of stars (or other objects) tend to happen in seasons. Spica will be hidden by the Moon each month until January 2014. For the UK this is our best opportunity to see this unusual eclipse.
A Challenging Series of Occultations of Spica by the Moon Coming to a Sky Near You
Welcome to my blog!
Dr Adrian Jannetta. Amateur astronomer, maths teacher and science enthusiast.