08/16/2016 – Ephemeris – Does Proxima Centauri have a planet? Also some information for southern observers about Mercury
Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 16th. The Sun rises at 6:46. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 8:46. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:53 tomorrow morning.
Proxima Centauri is the closest star to our solar system. It is a red dwarf star, and a distant third member of the Alpha Centauri star system. Recently the German weekly Der Spiegel announced that astronomers at the La Silla Observatory in Chile have detected a possible Earth-like planet at a distance that water may be liquid on its surface around this tiny star. Other than this one leak, no one is talking, and the European Southern Observatory is mum on the subject. There may be some kind of announcement at the end of the month. If true, this means that the closest earth-like planet orbits the closest star, only four and a quarter light years away. That’s nearly 25 trillion miles, and hundreds of years travel time with our current technology.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Note also the star labeled Agena. That is the more distant Beta (β) Centauri also known as Hadar.
For our southern observers: Today Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation of 27 degrees. So it’s visible in the west with Venus and Jupiter.