It is probably not your typical eclipse, however a celestial occasion anticipated to happen for a fleeting few moments this week should still have you ever star-struck.
An asteroid is slated to move in entrance of the star Betelgeuse and obscure it Monday evening in an occasion recognized to astronomers as an occultation.
Consultants estimate the uncommon occasion will solely happen for as many as 15 seconds, in response to Space.com.
Betelgeuse is a purple supergiant positioned roughly 700 light-years from Earth and kinds a part of the constellation Orion. At 10 million years previous, Betelgeuse is considerably youthful than our solar, but it surely’s additionally about 700 instances bigger and seven,500 to 14,000 instances brighter.
The asteroid 319 Leona is almost 50 kilometers huge and orbits between Mars and Jupiter.
Astronomers say the occultation is greater than a mere sight to behold and will really present some new insights into each Betelgeuse and Leona.
“This sort of occultations are very helpful to constrain the form of the asteroid concerned,” Gianluca Masi, director of the Italy-based Digital Telescope Mission, said in a press release. “Right here, we hope to even examine the floor of the concerned star, too: Betelgeuse.”
Sky & Telescope reports that scientists might also have the ability to use the occultation to map the star’s “unusually massive convective cells,” which allow it to brighten and dim for months on finish.
The occultation will probably be seen in a slender strip of places internationally, together with Miami and the Florida Keys in addition to components of Mexico, in response to a map on the web site OccultWatcher.
Viewers in components of Europe and Asia must also have the ability to see the occasion, which is expected to occur at 8:16 EST.
For sky-watchers positioned elsewhere, the Digital Telescope Mission plans to host a livestream.