Tuesday, April 06, 2010
824 Anastasia is a typical asteroid found in the Asteroid Belt, with precious little information on its English Wikipedia page at the moment; in fact, you have to go to the German Wikipedia just to find out its diameter (34.14 km).
We're about to find out a lot more about this asteroid though, as it will be making a pass in front of the star Zeta Ophiuchi today, with a large visible area for the occultation extending from Los Angeles to Edmonton, and also one in an area with quite a few observatories. The University of Calgary's Roth Observatory seems to be in the path as well, and even if it happens to miss it by a bit the astronomers who regularly observe there will have no troubles moving a bit to watch the event.
Asteroid occultations do happen all the time, but this one is notable in that 1) the asteroid is relatively large; 2) the star that will be occulted is very bright and easy to spot; 3) the area where it can be observed has such a large population.