facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Asteroid set to eclipse one of the brightest stars in the sky Wednesday night

"It’s hard to describe the excitement of this event."
By JC Sevcik   |   March 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
March 19 (UPI) -- Ready your telescopes (or computer screens), because tonight (actually around 2:05 EDT Thursday morning) an asteroid the size of Rhode Island will eclipse one of the brightest stars in the sky.

This rare celestial event will only be visible to a small swath of North America -- New York City and the surrounding countryside -- but the occultation will also be livecast by the Slooh Space Camera beginning at 1:45 a.m. EDT Thursday.

"In my entire 40 years as a professional astronomer, I've never witnessed a star as bright as Regulus -- Leo's alpha luminary -- being blocked as seen along a populated Earthly path in an easily accessible region," said Slooh astronomer Bob Berman.

"That's what will happen early Thursday morning," Berman added. "It’s hard to describe the excitement of this event. Regulus will vanish, and the constellation Leo will temporarily look totally different for as much as 14 seconds, as seen from New York City and about a 100-mile wide path extending to that city’s north and west."

Researchers say the eclipse will provide valuable information about 163 Erigone, the 45-mile-wide asteroid that orbits our sun as one body of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

[Space]
[Slooh]

Follow @JCSevcik and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
Topics: Rhode Island
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid Video shows scientists dissecting colossal squid
2
Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest Attic window offers glimpse of life inside a wasp nest
3
Boeing may build NASA's space taxi Boeing may build NASA's space taxi
4
Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast Humpback whale rescued off Maine coast
5
The NSA will now map out the entire Internet The NSA will now map out the entire Internet
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback