Tonight, the full Moon occulted Mars near opposition. A Lunar Mars occultation is a special event in any case, but when the Moon is full and Mars is nearly the largest it will be for years, this is truly a rare event. I managed to get out under the sky tonight to snap a few images of the near occultation.
Weather conditions were far from favorable, with a strong wind from the East, and fast moving low cloud cover. I can also see from the images from my SLR that the seeing was bad, as I could see the effect using just my 300mm equiv. telephoto lens. During clear moments, the transparency was very low, with a slightly misty look to the moon. The full occultation was not visible from Ohio, so this is about as close an approach as I can show. Since the full Moon's apparent size is about 0.5 degrees, I can estimate that in this picture, my local closest approach was about 0.4 degrees.
Clear skies! And Merry Christmas!