Home > Constellations, stars > 12/09/2013 – Ephemeris – The bright star Capella, the she-goat

12/09/2013 – Ephemeris – The bright star Capella, the she-goat

December 9, 2013

Ephemeris for Monday, December 9th.  The sun will rise at 8:07.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:02, the earliest sunset of the year.   The moon, at first quarter today, will set at 1:12 tomorrow morning.

A bright star called Capella is now high in the east.  Capella is the farthest north of winter’s seven brilliant first magnitude stars.  Capella never quite sets for anyone north of Ludington.  Due to its brightness, and being the closest first magnitude star to the pole, Capella appears to move slowly as the earth rotates, and spends summer and autumn evenings close to the horizon and is a reminder that winter’s not far away.  It has in years past elicited a few phone calls and other queries about that ‘bright object in the northeast’.  Capella belongs to the pentagonal constellation of Auriga the Charioteer.  Capella represents a mother goat he is holding.  Three stars in a thin triangle nearby to the star’s right are her kids.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The Constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus and Auriga. Cartes du Ciel

The Constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus and Auriga. Created using Cartes du Ciel

Note the small slender triangle of stars under the “p” in Capella.  That’s the Kids, an asterism or informal constellation.

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