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11/09/2015 – Ephemeris – The celestial sisters

November 9, 2015

Ephemeris for Monday, November 9th.  The Sun will rise at 7:31.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:21.   The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:15 tomorrow morning.

A marvelous member of the autumn skies can be found rising in the east at 8 in the evening.  It is the famous star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters.  I might also add the ‘Tiny Dipper’.  Many people can spot a tiny dipper shape in its six or seven stars, and mistake it for the Little Dipper.  As nearsighted as I am, though corrected, I’ve never been able to see more than a few stars and a bit of fuzz.  However with binoculars, over a hundred stars appear along with the dipper shape of the brightest.  The fuzz I saw was unresolved stars, but in photographs the Pleiades actually contains wisps of dust that reflect the star’s blue light which the cluster is passing through.  In Greek and Plains Indian mythology the sisters were young maidens.

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


Pleiades Rising

The Pleiades rising at 8 p.m. November 9th. Created using Stellarium.

The Pleiades, about what you'd see in binoculars.

The Pleiades, about what you’d see in binoculars.

I’ll be in Cadillac tonight

I’ll be giving an illustrated talk tonight to the Cadillac Garden Club at St. Ann’s Parish in Cadillac at 7 p.m. I’ll be talking about all the ways the Sun affects the Earth.  At 8 p.m., if it’s clear,  I and other members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will have some telescopes set up in the parking lot to view the wonders of the heavens.  The meeting appears to be open to the public and the viewing after definitely is.


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