CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Skywatchers, get ready to see a rare vanishing
act — and don't blink.
In the wee hours
of Thursday, a 45-mile-wide asteroid will eclipse the brightest star in
the Constellation Leo. The asteroid is 163 Erigone in the asteroid belt
between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The star briefly disappearing will
occultation will last no more than 14 seconds, around 2 a.m. EDT. It could
be as short as a fraction of a second.
What makes this
unusual is the brightness of Regulus and the potential viewing audience.
Weather permitting, the eclipse should be visible with the naked eye from
New York City and elsewhere along a populated swath in the U.S. Northeast
and eastern Canada.
Occultation Timing Association: