Photo of the Week - Planetary Occultation


starfield ship

Todd Howard wasn’t joking when he said that the team had considered actual science when creating the newest RPG from Bethesda, Starfield. Indeed, the game simulates so much real-life orbital physics that Alannah Pearce frequently had to make trajectory corrections when traveling to Pluto!

We’ve also witnessed eclipses on both planet surfaces and space, thanks to our fellow explorers who are quick on the trigger and the Photo Modes. It shows that planetary occultations, the events that cause eclipses, can also be seen in Starfield. However, nobody has captured images of those yet… until now.

To those who don’t know, a planetary occultation is a celestial event where one celestial body gets in front of another. When the Moon gets in front of the Sun, for instance, it is a planetary occultation that causes a solar eclipse.

All that is needed for an event to be considered an occultation is when a body gets in front of another from the perspective of a viewer. Something like this image was captured by X user NoviKaiba23.

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Credit: X/NoviKaiba23

In this image, a Moon gets in front of its bigger neighbor, a gas giant planet. However, the post doesn’t say which planet this is, so it could be Deepala or our very own Saturn.

In one of the four images in NoviKaiba23’s X gallery, you can see a small asteroid field orbiting between the moon and the gas giant.

Asteroids are very prominent in Starfield, thanks to a still-unfixed glitch that attracts one or two to the player’s ship. This phenomenon, which players have come to call the “pet rock,” was supposed to have been addressed by a previous update but, for some reason, persists.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Starfield Community page.