Sirius Star Asteroid, Will Go Dark On Monday For ‘First Time’ Ever – News

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Sirius star asteroid, Will Go Darkish On Monday For ‘First Time’ Ever.

Sirius, the brightest star within the night time sky and the fifth closest star to our photo voltaic system, will likely be briefly occulted Monday by an asteroid hurtling across the Solar. The primary time this occasion has ever been predicted by astronomers, will probably be seen as a dimming of Sirius’ shiny mild for a split-second at round 22:30 p.m. on Monday from a slender ‘shadow path’ by way of western Mexico, central U.S. and Canada.

Astronomers name such an occasion an occultation, which is when a celestial object is hidden from view by one other celestial object.

The place is Sirius within the night time sky?

You may’t miss it. Actually, it’s one of many best stars to search out in your entire night time sky, firstly as a result of it’s the brightest, but in addition as a result of the three stars in Orion’s Belt level downwards to Sirius at the moment of yr. If you happen to’re within the northern hemisphere, go outdoors after darkish and look to the southern sky. You will notice the well-known constellation of Orion the Hunter, with the three shiny belt stars, Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Comply with these three stars in a line right down to the southeastern horizon and you will notice Sirius winking.

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What’s 4388 Jürgenstock?

It’s a 3.1 mile-wide asteroid from the asteroid belt. It was named after its discoverer, Venezuelan astrometrist Jürgen Inventory. It orbits the Solar as soon as each Three years and seven months.

When was the final time Sirius was occulted?

“That is the primary occultation of Sirius ever predicted,” says Dr. David W. Dunham on the Worldwide Occultation Timing Affiliation, Center East part (IOTA/ME). “The star catalogs and asteroid ephemerides weren’t correct sufficient to foretell such occasions earlier than 1975 so no person tried to foretell such occultations earlier than these years.” Dunham explains that Sirius is way from the ecliptic, the place most asteroids roam, and occultations of stars like Regulus, in Leo, are extra ceaselessly occulted.

The place and when will the occultation be observable from?

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At exactly 05:21 a.m. Common Time on February 19, 2019, although it can really be late on February 18, 2019 within the elements of the world the place the occultation is seen from, particularly Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Beginning within the South Pacific, the ‘shadow path’ will transfer by way of Baja California, Sinaloa and Chihuahua in Mexico, then by way of New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota within the U.S., and at last into Manitoba and much western Ontario in Canada. There’s a superb Google Map right here (although additionally, you will must convert from Common Time to your native time), whereas the sensible Occultation Pages hosts a full and detailed rationalization of the occasion and of the trail. It additionally contains particulars on how devoted beginner astronomers inside the predicted shadow path will help astronomers scale back the dimensions of the ‘uncertainty zone’, and likewise how one can document the occasion utilizing a digicam and even only a smartphone.

The ‘different’ occultation on February 18

Although uncommon, it’s really not the one occultation occurring on February 18. “Moreover the occultation of Sirius within the night, there’s additionally an occultation of the 4.2-magnitude. star chi Virginis within the morning that will likely be seen from southern Texas, close to Corpus Christi, and northern Mexico,” says Dunham. “For the reason that Moon will likely be practically full, will probably be laborious to identify that one by bare eye, however it could be simple with binoculars.”

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Bizarrely, there are these are not any different occultations of stars brighter than sixth magnitude, the restrict of naked-eye visibility, that will likely be observable from North America throughout 2019.

What’s going to observers discover?

Occultation Pages means that observers within the shadow path will see “the star fade over a interval of a number of tenths of a second, most likely is not going to disappear fully, after which will get better its full brightness over one other a number of tenths of a second.” Nonetheless, it additionally suggests {that a} half-second drop in brightness could also be observable for these standing close to the sting of the trail.

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