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10/14/2014 – Ephemeris – The loneliest star

October 14, 2014

Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 14th.  The sun will rise at 7:56.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 6:59.   The moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 11:57 this evening.

There’s a bright star that appears for only seven and a half hours a night on autumn evenings.  It’s appearance, low in the south, is a clear indication of the autumn season.  At 9 p.m. tonight it’s low in the southeast.  The star’s name is Fomalhaut, which means fish’s mouth.  That fits because it’s in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish.  At our latitude it’s the fish that got away, because Fomalhaut appears to be the loneliest star in the sky.  The dimness of the constellation’s other stars and location close to the horizon make the fainter stars hard to spot.   They would be overhead in Australia.  The earth’s thick atmosphere near the horizon reduces the stars brightness by a factor of two or more.

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



Fomalhaut appears quite alone in the south-southeast at 10 p.m. October 14, 2014. Created using Stellarium. Click on the image to enlarge.

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