oc·​cul·​ta·​tion | \ˌä-(ˌ)kəl-ˈtā-shən \

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

These eclipsing events, known as occultations, have allowed the mission scientists to better understand the true shape and size of the object. Loren Grush, The Verge, "New Horizons sees you, Ultima Thule," 29 Aug. 2018 Members of the New Horizons team crisscrossed oceans and continents, hoping to observe these occultations when the stars briefly vanished as MU69 passed in front of them. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "Tiny Moon May Orbit Distant Object That NASA’s New Horizons Probe Will Visit," 12 Dec. 2017 The team was able to spot the rings by using 12 telescopes from 10 different laboratories on Jan. 21, 2017, as Haumea passed in front of a distant star, a process known as occultation. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Ring discovered around egg-shaped dwarf planet Haumea," 11 Oct. 2017 For lucky sky-watchers across North America, the pair will be so close in the sky that Aldebaran will appear to slip behind the lunar disk in an event known as an occultation. National Geographic, "Planets Align, and 9 More Can't-Miss Sky Events in September," 1 Sep. 2017 Everything was potentially its mundane self and the occultation of itself, invested by the divine. Melik Kaylan, WSJ, "‘Noah’s Beasts: Sculpted Animals From Ancient Mesopotamia’ Review: Everyday Divine," 18 July 2017 The events, called occultations, happen when the object blocks out the star and casts a tiny shadow on Earth. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Horizon’s Next Target Is an Oddly Shaped Asteroid," 10 Aug. 2017 So New Horizons team members set up shop in various spots along the occultation path and pointed their telescopes skyward. Mike Wall Space.com Senior Writer, Fox News, "NASA Pluto probe's next target may actually be 'swarm' of objects," 7 July 2017 MU69 recently moved in front of the light from a distant star on June 3, an event known as an occultation, similar in a way to a solar eclipse or a planetary transit, but smaller and quicker. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "New Horizons Spacecraft On Its Way to Mysterious Kuiper Belt Object," 7 July 2017

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

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for occultation

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

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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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