We are entering into a very special 2 month interval centered on predicted mid-eclipse, 4 August 2010 (JD 2,455,413 +/- 2 weeks). Some expect a "mid-eclipse brightening" - as much as several tenths of a magnitude - which would demonstrate a substantial central clearing in the dark disk.
Based on what we know from the initial round of interferometric imaging, the disk is so close to edge on, that seeing the "hole in the doughnut" is improbable. However, there are some clues that surprises may await the persistent observer:
- the B star at the center of the disk is a significant source of ultraviolet photons, capable of vaporizing dust, possibly enlarging the central opening;Read more