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Science Radio 3 | S2023 | When Betelgeuse plays hide and seek | Rai Radio 3

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Astronomers and amateur astronomers are in a state of shock: tomorrow night, December 12, the asteroid 319 Leona (68 kilometers in diameter) will pass between us and the star Betelgeuse, the gigantic red giant that marks the right shoulder of Orion (left to those of us who let us look at the figure of the legendary hunter). This event, which will last only a few seconds, will cause a significant dimming of the star’s light, or at best, its temporary disappearance. If occultations of stars by asteroids are frequent phenomena, it is very rare for a star of the first magnitude to be affected, as is the case with Betelgeuse. Unfortunately, phenomena of this type can only be observed over very narrow ranges of the Earth, no more than a few tens of kilometres. If tomorrow is obscured, the event will (weather permitting) also be visible from Italy, but only from southern Sardinia, northern Calabria and the southern regions of Campania, Basilicata and Puglia. How are you preparing for this unusual astronomical event? What information can we gain from his observation? Sandra Savaglio, astronomer at the University of Calabria, and Andrea De Dato, President of the Astronomy Society AstroCampania and Head of the Data Processing Center at the INAF Astronomical Observatory in Capodimonte, explain it all to us. Elisabetta Tola at the microphone

December 11, 2023

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