oc·​cul·​ta·​tion | \ ˌä-(ˌ)kəl-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce occultation (audio) \

Definition of occultation

1 : the state of being hidden from view or lost to notice
2 : the interruption of the light from a celestial body or of the signals from a spacecraft by the intervention of a celestial body especially : an eclipse of a star or planet by the moon

Examples of occultation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During an occultation, the planet passes behind the star. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'Extreme' exoplanet found orbiting hot blue star," 28 Sep. 2020 The team also observed the WASP-189 system during occultation—when a planet passes behind a star. Paola Rosa-aquino, Popular Science, "A deep-space telescope spied an exoplanet so hot it can vaporize iron," 5 Oct. 2020 Known as a lunar occultation, the moon will seem to glide in front of Mars from 10 to 20 minutes, as seen across a vast portion of the central region of the continent. National Geographic, "Why has it been so hard to let brilliant women shine?," 2 Sep. 2020 Researchers were able to capture an occultation and a transit of the planet and the star using Cheops. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'Extreme' exoplanet found orbiting hot blue star," 28 Sep. 2020 European scientists are also collecting data from something called radio occultation, a relatively new system that uses the bending of GPS signals through the atmosphere to detect properties such as water vapor, temperature, and air pressure. Eric Niiler, Wired, "A Drop in Commercial Flights Is Bad for Hurricane Forecasts," 4 June 2020 In Los Angeles, for instance, the occultation will begin at 3:38 a.m. and end at 4:29 a.m. New York Times, "Watch Mars Disappear Behind the Moon in the Early Morning Sky," 17 Feb. 2020 By combining their new data with a historical catalog of around 160 transits and occultations, Yee says, the team showed that both events are happening earlier and earlier—a nearly sure sign that the planet’s path shrinks with each new orbit. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "This pitch-black exoplanet is spiraling toward its doom," 2 Jan. 2020 This rare celestial alignment is known as an occultation. Editors, USA TODAY, "Boy Scouts files for bankruptcy, Harvey Weinstein trial goes to jury, Nevada debate deadline: 5 things to know Tuesday," 18 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occultation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of occultation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occultation

Middle English occultacion, borrowed from Latin occultātiōn-, occultātiō "concealment, interruption of light from a celestial body," from occultāre "to prevent from being seen, conceal, keep secret" + -tiōn- -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at occult entry 1

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The first known use of occultation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Occultation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occultation. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on occultation

Britannica English: Translation of occultation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about occultation

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