Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of occulting or the state of being occulted.
  • noun The passage of a celestial body across the line of sight between an observer and another celestial object, as when the moon moves between Earth and the sun in a solar eclipse.
  • noun The progressive blocking and unblocking of light or other electromagnetic radiation from a celestial source during such a passage.
  • noun An observational technique for determining the position or radiant structure of a celestial source undergoing such occultation or of the object causing the occultation.
  • noun Islam The temporary, supernatural removal of a holy person from visible existence, as Shiites believe is the case with the 12th imam.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of hiding or concealing, or the state of being hidden or concealed; especially, the hiding of one body from sight by another; specifically, in astronomy, the hiding of a star or planet from sight by its passing behind some other of the heavenly bodies. It is particularly applied to the eclipse of a fixed star by the moon.
  • noun Figuratively, disappearance from view; withdrawal from notice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Astron.) The hiding of a heavenly body from sight by the intervention of some other of the heavenly bodies; -- applied especially to eclipses of stars and planets by the moon, and to the eclipses of satellites of planets by their primaries.
  • noun The state of being occult.
  • noun See under Circle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun astronomy An astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object is hidden by another celestial object that passes between it and the observer when the nearer object appears larger and completely hides the more distant object
  • noun , Describes the state of an imam that has been hidden by Allah.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun one celestial body obscures another

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English occultacion, from Latin occultātiō, occultātiōn-, from occultātus, past participle of occultāre, frequentative of occulere, to conceal; see occult.]

Examples

  • Astronomers refer to this phenomenon as an "occultation," taken from the Latin word occultÄre, which means "to conceal."

    Livescience.com

  • Essentially, this so-called occultation passed the shadow of Eris over the Earth.

    Dwarf planets Pluto, Eris battle for a spot in a vast universe

  • This bending will cause the apparent occultation, that is, going behind the planet, to occur later than otherwise expected, and to exit from occultation prior to when otherwise expected.

    Refraction

  • The only way to gauge its size accurately was to wait for it to pass in front of a distant star, in what's known as an occultation.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • Essentially, this so-called occultation passed the shadow of Eris over the Earth.

    USATODAY.com News

  • (A stellar occultation occurs when an intervening body -- in this case Titan -- blocks the light from a star).

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • (A stellar occultation occurs when an intervening body -- in this case Titan -- blocks the light from a star).

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • An occultation occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • This remarkable effect (called occultation - hence the sneaky blog post title), while it might seem rather mundane in some ways (although you're seeing the effect of an asteroid with your own eyes!) is extremely powerful in astronomy.

    Asymptotia

  • The phenomenon illustrated is called the "occultation" of the planet.

    The Story of the Heavens

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