Biggest and brightest star in the sky will vanish in one-of-a-kind eclipse visible to millions
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Featured Image Credit: Javier Zayas Photography/Getty / Michael Dunning/Getty
The biggest and brightest star in the night sky will momentarily vanish in a one-of-a-kind eclipse that will be visible to millions.
The rare and unique spectacle will take place late on Monday evening and into Tuesday morning, depending on whereabouts in the world you are.
It should be seen by millions as it follows a narrow path from central Asia’s Tajikistan and Armenia, across to the likes of Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The eclipse will then be visible in the US, as the amazing spectacle should be seen by those in Miami and the Florida Keys, before moving on to parts of Mexico.
The star in question that we will not be absent for a short while is known as Betelgeuse, a red supergiant in the constellation Orion.
Meanwhile, the asteroid involved in this solar eclipse is Leona, which is a slowly rotating space rock in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
While we talk about the great viewing the eclipse will be for millions across the world, the event is actually an important one for astronomers as they look to gather information.
It comes after experts observed an eclipse of a much dimer star next to Leona back in September, with a Spanish-led team concluding the asteroid to be 55 kilometers wide and 80 kilometers long.
However, there have been lingering uncertainties about those predictions, as well as the size of the star and its surrounding atmosphere.
There is also uncertainty on how long the star will be hidden for.
Astronomers believe the eclipse can go one of two ways; a first possibility is a 'ring of fire eclipse' with a small blazing border around the star.
While another possibility is a total eclipse where the star would disappear completely, with astronomers predicting that could last around ten seconds.
Gianluca Masa, founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, said: "Which scenario we will see is uncertain, making the event even more intriguing."
It comes as last month four continents had the unique opportunity to catch a total solar eclipse for the last time until 2025.
People in North and Central America, Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands and parts of South America experienced the eclipse on 8 November.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are aligned, with the moon passing into the Earth's shadow.
Total lunar eclipses are sometimes known as blood moons because of the red colour the eclipse gives off.
This is caused by the Earth's atmosphere scattering light from the sun and projecting it onto the moon - which gives the cool effect we see during an eclipse.