How and why a star 'disappeared' from the UAE skies

Abu Dhabi's International Astronomy Centre witnesses rare phenomenon of occultation of star for six seconds
How and why a star 'disappeared' from the UAE skies
An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 08 Nov 2018 03:35 PM

A team from Abu Dhabi's International Astronomy Centre has monitored and photographed a rare astronomical phenomenon in the UAE.

The event saw the occultation, or disappearance, of the star called HIP 48351 for six seconds as it was passed by the asteroid 790 Pretoria.

Mohammed Shawkat, director of the centre, said in comments published by state news agency WAM that this phenomenon could only be observed in specific areas in a narrow region not exceeding a width of 160km in the north the UAE, especially the north of Ras Al Khaimah.

The astrological phenomenon provided valuable data to scientists, he added.

An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.

790 Pretoria is a asteroid orbiting the sun that was discovered by English astronomer Harry Edwin Wood on January 16, 1912.

It is a member of the Cybele group located beyond the core of the main belt and is estimated to have a diameter of up to 175km.

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