There is a giant rock hurtling through space right now. 

Happening in the World: A unique eclipse will occur when an asteroid briefly covers one of the largest and brightest stars in the sky. Around the end of Monday and beginning of Tuesday, millions of people along a narrow path that begins in Tajikistan and Armenia in central Asia, travels through Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain, reaches Miami and the Florida Keys, and finally, reaches portions of Mexico, should be able to see the unusual and transient spectacle. A red supergiant located in the constellation of Orion, the star in question is Betelgeuse. Leona is a long, slowly-rotating asteroid situated in the main asteroid belt, which extends from Jupiter to Mars.Betelgeuse is observable to the human eye from a distance of about 700 light-years. You can get a better look with binoculars or a little telescope. (AP News)

Happening in the US: On Thursday, a white leucistic alligator with sparkling blue eyes entered this world in Orlando, Florida. In a news release, the alligator park Gatorland confirmed that the newborn gator is one of only eight known leucistic alligators worldwide. The park also claims that this is the first white leucistic alligator ever born into human care. According to the press release, the leucistic alligator is the rarest genetic variation of the American alligator. A completely pigment-free albino alligator, on the other hand, has pink eyes instead of blue and is otherwise distinct. The park’s vet informed the press that the infant is thriving and is eating solid foods, such as small bits of raw chicken and supplement pellets. (CBS News)

Happening in NYC: New York City’s transportation authority is getting ready for what promises to be an exciting weekend as SantaCon makes its triumphant return to Manhattan on Saturday. Over the weekend, the MTA will not allow passengers to bring alcohol onto any train operating on Metro-North or Long Island Rail Road due to that reason. The prohibition is in effect from Saturday at 4 a.m. until Sunday at noon. At major stations like Penn Station, Grand Central Madison, and Grand Central Terminal, the MTA Police Department will be sending extra officers to enforce the ban and handle potentially disruptive crowds. Violators will face summonses from the police, confiscation of their alcohol, and possible expulsion from trains and MTA stations. (NBC)

Happening in Our Community: Today from 9am to 4:45 pm, day 2 of a speaker series titled “Between the Black Sea and the Bering Strait” will be taking place. The event is being held in the Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room of the International Affairs Building on Columbia’s campus. The speaker series is an amalgamation of round table talks and panel sessions. To learn more about the event, click here.