Home > Constellations, Ephemeris Program, Mythology, stars > 10/30/2015 – Ephemeris – The spookiest star

10/30/2015 – Ephemeris – The spookiest star

October 30, 2015

Ephemeris for Friday, October 30th.  The Sun will rise at 8:17.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 6:34.   The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 9:33 this evening.

Tomorrow night is the spookiest night of the year,  so lets look at the spookiest star of all.  It’s Algol, from Ghoul Star or Demon Star. The Chinese had a name for it that meant ‘piled up corpses’. It’s the second brightest star in the constellation Perseus the hero, rising in the northeast this evening. The star is located where artists have drawn the severed head of Medusa, whom he had slain. Medusa was so ugly that she turned all who gazed upon her to stone. Algol is her still glittering eye. Astronomers finally found out what was wrong with Algol. It does a slow 6 hour wink every two days 21 hours, because it is two stars that eclipse each other. It winked this morning and it will again centered on 11:45 p.m. Sunday night.

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

Addendum

Algol at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween

Algol at 7:30 p.m. on Halloween, in a modern portrayal. Created using Stellarium.

Eclipsing Binary Star

Animation of an eclipsing binary star like Algol. Credit: Wikimedia Commons h/t Earth and Sky

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