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April 13 2014

Ringed asteroid will make a star blink out over Africa


This rock's got some bling. A star that is about to wink out over Africa will give us a good look at the first known asteroid with rings.

Last month, astronomers described icy rings around the asteroid 10199 Chariklo. They were found during an occultation, when the asteroid crossed in front of a star from Earth's perspective. Seen from South America, the star's brightness dipped in a distinctive pattern, indicating a set of sharply defined rings.

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