20 March 2014

Giant Asteroid Occultation of Bright Star Regulus 20MAR2014

Giant Asteroid
Asteroid 163 Erigone Occultation of Bright Star Regulus March 20 Giant Asteroid to Black Out Bright Star Regulus March 20
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In the early morning hours of March 20, 2014, Erigone is expected to occult the first-magnitude star Regulus[4] as first predicted by A. Vitagliano in 2004. Regulus is about 78 light-years away from Earth and the brightest star in Leo and roughly the 21st brightest star in sky. This may be the best and brightest asteroid occultation ever predicted to occur over a populated area.
Although Erigone will come nowhere near Earth, as it passes in front of the star its shadow of approximately 110 kilometres (68 mi) wide[ will sweep across Nassau and Suffolk counties, all five boroughs of New York City and the Hudson River Valley, with the center of the predicted shadow path following a line roughly connecting New York City, White Plains, Newburgh, Oneonta, Rome and Pulaski before crossing into Canada near Belleville and North Bay, Ontario. Observers in the shadow path may see the star wink out for as long as 14 seconds. The Planetary Society has provided maps to help observers.



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