Bright Star Regulus Eclipsed by Asteroid 163 Erigone Live - March 19th / 20th
On the night of March 19th/20th, Asteroid (163) Erigone, a space rock 45-miles wide, will briefly eclipse the bright star Regulus, blacking it out entirely in the night sky. This phenomenon, known as an occultation, will occur around 2 AM EDT and last for up to 14-seconds dependent on the exact viewing location.
Slooh will cover the event live on Wednesday, March 19th at 10:45 PM PDT / 1:45 AM EDT (3/20) / 05:45 UTC (3/20) (International Times) with live feeds from New York. Viewers can watch free on Slooh.com or by downloading the Slooh iPad app. The live image streams will be accompanied by discussions led by Slooh host and Observatory Director Paul Cox, with Slooh's astronomer Bob Berman reporting live from New York. In addition, Ted Blank from the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) will appear as a guest directly from his remote viewing location while also providing a live feed for broadcast. Viewers may ask questions during the show by using hashtag #Regulus.
The asteroid, (163) Erigone, orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter in the main asteroid belt. The star it will eclipse, Regulus, is the 22nd brightest in the sky with a magnitude of +1.3. Erigone's shadow will race at nearly two miles per second along the ground, resulting in Regulus vanishing for between a fraction of a second to 14-seconds, depending on whether the observer is centrally located beneath the shadow, or near its edge. Observing the timing of this event at various locations will enable astronomers to determine Erigone's size and shape to an unprecedented level of accuracy.
Download the iPad App