Betelgeuse how to see red giant eclipse from Italy

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Even a giant star in its last stage of life as Betelgeuse may be covered by another object in space. IN the night between December 11 and 12, 2023the red star “blinks” for a few seconds to the delight of some Northern Hemisphere viewers.

Betelgeuse it is one of the brightest bodies in the night sky and yes part of the Orion constellation, a mythological hunter. If the observer pays attention, he will notice that it is a different color than the other stars. That’s because it’s a red giant 764 times larger than the Sun which is located 650 light years from Earth.

Tonight, for a few seconds, one of the main stars in the constellation Orion will be obscured by asteroid 319 Leona. This unique and fleeting event – it will only take 12 seconds – is the focus of attention of astronomers and scientists. L’eclipseand (occultation is the correct term) it won’t be total. The asteroid will create a kind of ring of fire, although the difference in light will only be visible with sophisticated instruments.

When to see the Betelgeuse eclipse

Leona 319 it has a diameter between 50 and 90 kilometers. It is an elliptically shaped body that rotates slowly and It takes 6 years and 3 months to complete its orbit around the Sun. During its passage in front of Betelgeuse, the space body will be 1.8 AU away from the red giant (one “au” corresponds to the distance between the Earth and the Sun: about 150 million kilometers).

Leona 319 will completely cover Betelgeuse on December 12 at 01:17 UTC. L The event will only be visible in the Northern Hemisphere band, which includes the United States, Mexico, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

When will the Betelgeuse eclipse be visible?

Here are the local times when the red giant “eclipse” will be visible:

  • Mexico: December 11 at 7:17 p.m
  • United States: 20:17 December 11
  • Italy: December 12 at 2:17 am

Tips for observing the Betelgeuse eclipse

For an optimal experience, astronomers recommend observe the phenomenon using binoculars or telephoto lenses and tripods. Observing the phenomenon should begin a few minutes before the eclipse begins so that you can try different optical filters depending on local conditions. As with any astronomical spectacle, viewing is best done in locations with little light pollution. The Betelgeuse eclipse also requires certain technical mastery of photography. Light exposure and noise compensation will be key parameters for astronomer enthusiasts to consider.

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