The moon is passing in front of stars all the time. Sometimes it passes in front of planets and asteroids. Many astronomers like to watch the brighters stars, planets, and asteroids disappear and reemerge as the moon passes in front of them. Those who take scientifically accurate measurements of when the event started and stopped are able to discern things about the object’s shape. Here are some images to show you when the moon will pass in front of some stars and planets in 2017 and from where these occultations will be visible.
The visibility maps are made with the International Occultation Timing Association’s WinOccult software which is available for free and which computes occultations for many more objects than these. In the ovals or loops, the moon appears to graze or incompletely cover the object. In regions between the red dotted lines, the occulation is happening while the sun is up. Between blue lines, it is a sunrise or sunset event. Between the white lines, the occultation is a nighttime event. For most people, daytime occultations aren’t noteworthy because even though the moon may be visible the object it’s passing in front of isn’t.