AN EXTREMELY RARE OCCULTATION OF BETELGEUSE: One of the most famous stars in the night sky is about to disappear. On Dec. 12th (Dec. 11th in the USA), asteroid Leona will pass directly in front of Betelgeuse for an extremely rare occultation visible from south Florida to Italy. Sky watchers in the "path of totality" can look up and see the red giant vanish, dramatically altering the appearance of the constellation Orion.
There are huge population centers in the occultation path, especially in south Florida where Leona's shadow crosses Miami and Fort Lauderdale. For observers there, Betelgeuse will wink out for about 10 seconds on the evening of Dec. 11th just before 8:25 pm Eastern Standard Time. In Europe, the occultation happens on Dec. 12th between 1:10 UT and 1:16 UT. To find out when to look from your location, we recommend downloading this excellent Google Earth file; when viewing the map, click on the little dots for occultation times.
Are you in the occultation zone? Submit your photos here.