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Moon and Mars! Fav photos of December 7 occultation

Moon and Mars: Large, bright white full moon, with tiny red Mars next to it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly caught the moon and Mars on December 7, 2022, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. See Mars in about the 1 o’clock position? Joel wrote: “Mars and the moon are a stunning pair in our skies tonight. While at opposition, brilliant Mars met the full moon for a lunar occultation of Mars. A video of Mars’ disappearance and reappearance, as seen through my telescope, can be found here.” Thank you, Joel!

Moon and Mars photos

On December 7, 2022, our planet Earth passed between Mars and the sun, bringing Mars to its once-in-two-years opposition in our sky. Mars was at its closest and brightest for this two-year period, and it was opposite the sun. A full moon is also opposite the sun. So, on December 7, the sun, the Earth, the moon and Mars were aligned. And the alignment was so precise that – as viewed from some parts of Earth – the moon passed in front of Mars! Elsewhere, red Mars was widely seen near the full moon in the sky on the night of December 7-8. Heartfelt thanks to all who submitted photos to EarthSky Community Photos. We love you all! A few favs on this page … and more moon and Mars photos here.

Available now! 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. Makes a great gift!

Moon and Mars photos

Side of moon with tiny orange Mars large enough to see a dark marking on it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Grace Wheeler in Eureka, California, took this image on December 7, 2022. Grace wrote: “I was not expecting to view the occultation of Mars because the forecast for Humboldt County was for a marine layer. Luckily we got a brief break in the cloud deck. I quickly set up my scope and I was able to catch Mars coming out from behind the moon. I had to take a guess on exposure. The clouds may have helped even out the brightness of the Moon with Mars … I was able to get both decently exposed in the same image.” Thank you, Grace!
Full moon with extremely tiny orange dot almost touching it at lower left.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Martin Curran in Cheyenne, Wyoming, took this image on December 7, 2022. Martin wrote: “Caught Mars before it was occulted by the moon tonight.” Thank you, Martin!

More lunar occultation photos

Section of gray moon with tiny, slightly marked Mars touching it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Chris Kotsiopoulos in Reading, UK, captured this glorious image of Mars and the moon in the early morning hours of December 8, 2022. Chris wrote: “It was quite an experience seeing the planet Mars disappear behind the moon and emerge after an hour. Freezing cold, at 5 in the morning and frost was all over my equipment, but it was worth every second!” Thank you, Chris! For more about this photo, visit
Large white full moon with white dot, Mars, just below it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Lisa Ann Fanning wrote: “Here in New Jersey, we just miss occultation of Mars by the moon. But, by dodging some clouds, we are able to see a very close conjunction.” Thank you, Lisa!
Full moon with tiny reddish Mars, both labeled.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Lorraine Boyd in Delmar, New York, wrote: “After a rainy and cloudy day, making it impossible to enjoy the earliest sunset of the year, I was happy when the sky cleared up later in the evening. I was able to photograph the last full moon of 2022, the Full Cold Moon, along with Mars.” Thank you, Lorraine!

Occultation sequence pics

Sequence of 3 photos of moon showing tiny red Mars closer and closer right to the edge.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Welch in San Diego, California, caught this cool sequence of the moon just as it slid in front of Mars. He wrote: “The skies cleared in San Diego just in time to start following the lunar occultation of Mars. The photos are about 1 minute apart.” Thank you, Peter!
Part of a full moon, with nine images of tiny Mars passing near, each labeled with a time.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Patrick Prokop in Savannah, Georgia, was too far southeast to see the moon pass in front of Mars. But he caught Mars near the moon. He wrote: “The moon passing the planet Mars from 9:44 p.m. to 11:44 p.m. EST. At my latitude of 32 N along the SE coast of Georgia, the moon never occulted Mars but the moon passed very near it. It might appear that Mars was passing the moon, but in actuality, it was the moon moving past Mars. I took these images using the Orion EON 130mm telescope with the ZWO-ASI 071 camera using the Orion Sky-Glow Flight pollution filter.” Thank you, Patrick!
Moon with bright crater near limb and dot of orange circle repeating behind it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Rob Pettengill took this image on December 7, 2022. Rob wrote: “Mars skims the rim of the moon and was occulted for about 12 minutes from east of Elgin, Texas. Skies were very cloudy in central Texas, but the astrospheric ensemble cloud forecast identified a gap where I set up about 30 miles away. I had to dodge a few clouds and poor transparency, but am pleased with the result.” Thank you, Rob!

Bottom line: The moon and Mars were spectacular on the night of December 7-8, 2022. Some saw the moon occult – or pass in front of – Mars. Wonderful photos here!

December 8, 2022
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