Regulus Occultation

Regulus is considered the 20th or so brightest star visible from Earth. A measly 77 light years away and part of the constellation Leo – Regulas couldn’t be easier to find. With apologies for the late notice – residents of New York State, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia ( assuming clear skies prevail ) bundle up around 2 AM for the Regulus occultation.

Shortly before 2 Am head out and find the moon – extend your arms and voila! – Regulus is the brightest object above your right hand, roughly the same height as the moon and certainly the brightest object in that corner of the sky.

Looking southwest, 2 a.m.

Looking southwest (90° to the right of the Moon) around 2 a.m. EDT on the morning of March 20th. Regulus will appear roughly as high as the Moon. It’s the brightest star in the area; you don’t need to know, or see, the constellations! Click image for larger view.
IOTA / Stellarium / Sky & Telescope
At 2:06 AM EDT asteroid 163 Erigone will pass Regulus – completely blacking it out for 14 seconds. An unprecedented asteroid occultation, never witnessed let alone observed by the naked eye in North America.
If nothing else, remember to look up the next clear night to familiarize yourself with a shining star. Dazzle your friends when pointing out constellation Leo, astound them when identifying Regulus , and tuck that nugget of star power under your belt.

5 thoughts on “Regulus Occultation

    • An interesting, out of the blue question – hopefully not a disappointing answer. I don’t read science fiction. In my teens, early twenties Heinlein books were thought provoking Stranger in a Strange Land, and Starship Troopers (most certainly not the movie) stuck with me.

      One of my favorite books is Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin.- definitely fantasy rather than science fiction. The opening page reads “I have been to another world and come back, listen to me”

      I read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings before I was 8 or 9 – my mother was a published poet and children’s story author who raised me on Greek mythology – mythology struck my impressionable mind as practical – most science fiction lacked a “writer’s touch” leaving my bored and impatient.

      Once I stumbled upon Tom Robbins, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Paul Theroux, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro – it was write well or don’t waste my time.

      At the moment I’m reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – author of The Kite Runner – a book forever ranked in my top ten.Kite Runner was butchered by Hollywood ( as were Theroux’s Mosquito Coast, Catch 22 – the list is endless)

      I’m starting to ramble – entirely your fault for igniting a ponder 🙂

      • Cheers. I’m in a (renewed) Science-Fiction reading phase, seeing what’s been done in the last 10 or so years, looking for titles, and thought you’d have a finger in the pot. My all-time favourite is Dune (steampunk, before there was steampunk), but none of the books i’ve read so far have come close to that. That’s not to say they’re not good, some are fine, but not in the “classic” category yet.

      • Geez – how could I have forgotten Dune! My daughter is an avid sci-fi reader. I’ll ask her for recommendations. Truth be told – sci-fi ran off the rails for me when Hubbard cooked up Scientology. I tossed the lot into the crock of shit. Maybe time to grow up and get over blanket indignation 🙂

  1. Pingback: The Rhode Island-sized Space Rock Will Pass By Earth Early Thursday MorningBig Online News | Big Online News

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