[UPDATE 7pm: looks like it’s going to be too cloudy to see it tonight, but you can still hang with astronomers at the bars from 10-12] It’s been pretty cool to see astronomical bad ass Neil deGrasse Tyson tooling around the universe every Sunday, bringing creationism-defying facts to the primetime masses on Cosmos. And while it would be cool to hop in that late-model TARDIS thing he’s flying in, you can do maybe the next best thing tonight and hang out with some of his fellow astronomers at a bar late tonight for a super rare “star wink” event.
Star experts from the American Museum of Natural History will be posted up at two Brooklyn bars to help you you watch a once-in-a-lifetime asteroid blackout passing right over the city around 2 a.m. That’s right: you can tell people you got blackout drunk with astronomers, and did some science too. Check out which Brooklyn bars are hosting the event tonight below.
As I reported for my day gig, the asteroid will pass right in front of the bright star Regulus, causing it to go dim for about 14 seconds (which means Regulus will be Black! Destroy the locket!). It’s called an occultation and Jackie Faherty, a research scientist at the museum, told me it’s being billed as the “best and brightest asteroid occultation of our lifetimes” because it rarely to never happens in a place as highly populated as New York City, and in front of a star bright enough to see with the naked eye. Yeah, it’s supposed to be cloudy tonight, so it might be a bust, but a stargazing, beer-loving boy can dream, right?
So two astronomers will be posted up at Pacific Standard in Boerum Hill and The Way Station in Prospect Heights (home of the TARDIS bathroom, naturally) to help you watch. They’ll hand out star charts, tell you where to look in the sky and encourage you to download the Occultation app, which will help astronomers track the shape and trajectory of the asteroid.