Events for the next few weeks




All dates and times listed here are MST (UTC–7 hours)


11/30/2022  7:37 AM – Lunar first quarter

11/30/2022  7:12 PM – Mars (magnitude -1.8) apparently closest (0.544 a.u.)


12/01/2022 – the Moon and Jupiter 3.5 degrees apart at dusk


12/07/2022 (Wednesday):   Mars (magnitude -1.9) will be occulted by the Full Moon.  From the Rapid City area this will be visible in the Eastern sky between 40 and 52 degrees above the horizon.


The exact times are very dependent on the observer’s exact location.  There are so many factors in the computations that deviations from the times listed below should be expected.  In addition, it can be difficult to capture a record of the events listed below with a reliable time stamp accurate at the sub-second level.  The times listed here are based on my calculations, other predictions may be found on the Web. 


Observation reports with accurate times and locations (times accurate to a second or better, and WGS84 coordinates to 5 decimal places) are extremely welcome

(send by email to:   G e o r g e 0 7 @ r a p . m i d c o . n e t ).


For observations at the Journey Museum and Learning Center (103.2187 West, 44.0866 North):

First contact:                  7:51:29.9 PM MST

Mars totally obscured           7:52:08.4 PM

Mars begins to emerge           8:58:31.7 PM

Emergence complete              8:59:13.9 PM


For observations at Hidden Valley Observatory (103.2975 West, 44.1082 North):

First contact:                  7:51:28.0 PM MST

Mars totally obscured           7:52:06.5 PM

Mars begins to emerge           8:58:30.6 PM

Emergence complete              8:59:12.8 PM


An occultation of Mars can be seen from the Earth every few years, but for a specific area, such as Western South Dakota, this is an infrequent occurrence: January 13, 2025; June 6, 2038; Feb. 4, 2042; and May 28, 2048 being the next instances for such occultations of Mars.


12/07/2022    9:08 PM – Full Moon

12/07/2022  10:42 PM – Mars at opposition, magnitude -1.9


12/09/2022  4:14 PM – Earliest sunset at Journey Museum


12/21/2022  8:31 AM – Mercury (mag. -0.6) at greatest separation from the Sun 20.1 degrees E (i.e. Mercury sets in the West shortly after sunset).

12/21/2022  2:48 PM – Winter solstice (length of day at JMLC 8h 52m 45s)


12/28/2022 – Mercury and Venus 1.4 degrees apart at dusk