Asteroid to Occult Star on Morning of Friday, Jan. 9

This message is forwarded, with minor edits, from David Dunham of the International Occultation Timing Association.

The occultation occurs around 6 a.m. EST in the U.S. Northeast. Click above for the full map, and other information, on Steve Preston's website.
Steve Preston
On the morning of Friday, Jan. 9, from 10:55 to 11:06 UT (2:57 a.m. PST, 3:58 a.m. MST, 5:00 a.m. CST, 6:02 a.m. EST, 7:03 a.m. AST), asteroid 1963 Bezovec occults the 8.3-magnitude star HIP 64220 in Coma Berenices in a path with an expected width of 48 km (30 miles) from Baja California through northern Mexico and Texas to New England and Nova Scotia. Skies are forecast to be clear over most of the occultation path. The asteroid may occult the star for up to 3 seconds, with an easily seen 6-magnitude drop.

The star is bright enough for visual observation with even small telescopes; if possible, please try to time the occultation using the techniques described at With the relatively short duration, video observations are preferred, but a visual observation is much better than no observation.

Regardless of your timing method, the most important thing is to set up your telescope early enough to leave plenty of time to locate the star. You can get finder charts at several different scales to locate the star from Steve Preston's website.

The Path

You can also find an overview of the occultation path on Steve Preston's website. The path crosses Texas at 10:59 UT (4:59 am CST) with an occultation possible, considering the uncertainies, from San Antonio, Austin, Waco, and Texarkana. In Tenn., at 11:00 UT (5:00 am CST), Memphis is at the predicted n. limit and Nashville is at the expected s. limit. At 11:01 UT, an occultation is possible in Lexington, KY and Morgantown, WV. In Penn., Washington, Somerset, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, and Scranton all have a chance; the path could also cross the northernmost part of New Jersey with New York City possible but less likely. At 11:02 UT, w. and n. Conn. and Boston, Mass. have a good chance, but slightly better chances are in the predicted path just north of those places in much of Massachusetts; s. New Hamp. and southernmost Maine could also have an occultation. The path also crosses Nova Scotia, but twilight starts to get strong n.e. of Halifax. You can see the path in more detail using Derek Breit's interactive Google maps.

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