ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Moon occulting the Antares (Jyeshtha)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Antares (Jyeshtha), Occultation

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • The Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) captured the moon passing in front of Antares, a bright red star.
  • Moon occasionally occults bright stars such as Antares and planets as it orbits the Earth once a month.

About Antares (Jyeshtha)

  • Antares is a red supergiant star also called ‘Alpha Scorpii,’ located in the constellation of Scorpius.
  • It is visible in the southern sky during the summer months in the northern hemisphere.
  • It is often referred to as the “heart of the scorpion” due to its location within the Scorpius constellation and its striking red color.
  • It is a massive star, with a diameter estimated to be around 700 times that of the Sun.
  • It has a relatively low surface temperature compared to other stars, which gives it its distinctive red color.
  • The distance to Antares from Earth is approximately 550 light-years, making it one of the closest red supergiant stars to our solar system.

What is Occultation?

  • An occultation is a total or a partial cut-off of the light of a celestial body due to its passage behind another body.
  • The finest example of an occultation is the solar eclipse.
  • Strictly speaking, it is not an eclipse, but a lunar occultation of the sun.



[2012] A person stood alone in a desert on a dark night and wanted to reach his village, which was situated 5 km East of the point where he was standing. He had no instruments to find the direction, but he located the pole-star. The most convenient way now to reach his village is to walk in the _______.

(a) Direction facing the pole-star

(b) Direction opposite to the pole-star

(c) Direction keeping the pole-star to his left

(d) Direction keeping the pole-star to his right

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