Since I have a degree in astronomy, I had to write about this one. A couple of weeks ago Google Maps Mania published an article about a Google Maps mashup (custom application) which allows you to see the tracks of Asteroid Occultation viewing paths. Not only did the author of the site allow you to view the paths in Google Maps, but he also creates Google Earth KML files so you can view them in GE.
First, you are probably wondering what is an asteroid occultation? Briefly, an asteroid occultation is when an asteroid passes in front of another stellar body (usually a star). In some cases you might see a star get dimmer, but in most cases you would probably need a telescope to witness the event. An asteroid ocultation viewing path is where on the Earth that occultation would be visible. If you have ever seen the viewing path maps drawn for a solar eclipse, this is the same concept.
After you go to the asteroid occultation maps page, scroll down to an upcoming date in the table titled “Asteroidal Occultations Visible from North America” (unfortunately, this is the only area he covers for now). Then select an appropriate asteroid (say today’s (850) Altona). Below the map you will see a link to “Download a-ready-to-use Google Earth points file (track.kml) for this event.” Or, you can just click here to see it now .
The asteroid occultation maps were created by Charlie Ridgway based on data produced by Steve Preston’s Asteroidal Occultation Predictions web site.