Science: Lighted by Regulus

At Madrid's National Observatory one afternoon last week, a group of U.S. astronomers peered at the sky with astronomers' telescopes that can see planets and stars in bright daylight. Headed by Dr. Allen Hynek of the Smithsonian's Cambridge Astrophysical Observatory, the scientists were in Spain to take full advantage of a rare event. The planet Venus, 55 million miles from the earth in the solar system, was passing directly in front of the bright star Regulus in miniature eclipse, and though the two were 400 trillion miles apart (67 light-years), the star's light...

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