SCIENCE
12/31/2012 02:13 pm ET

Lunar Occultation Of Jupiter VIDEO Shows Awesome Moon-Planet Alignment

This Christmas, the moon ate Jupiter.

At least that's how it appeared to skywatchers in certain parts of the Southern Hemisphere during a Dec. 25 lunar occultation. That's the term astronomers use to describe the occasional celestial event in which the moon passes directly between various planets and stars as it orbits the earth.

Occultations unfold slowly, but astronomer Rafael Defavari's video of the Christmas "feast" -- as seen from São Bernardo do Campo in Brazil -- shows the occultation five times faster than real time.

More lunar occultations will take place in 2013, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. The moon is expected to eat Jupiter, Pluto, Venus, and Saturn.

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