After doing their dance once over the Coachella Valley in December, the moon will once again pass in front of Mars from our perspective on Jan. 30. If you missed that occultation of the Red Planet, you will want to catch this one. It will be your last chance for such a view in the desert until 2025. Lunar occultations are rare and only visible for a small fraction of Earth’s population. Want to watch? Mars will begin to creep behind the dark side of the moon around 8:37 p.m. and will emerge at about 9:33 p.m.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org/observatory.