Home > Ephemeris Program, stars > 10/24/2016 – Ephemeris – Fomalhaut, the loneliest star in the sky

10/24/2016 – Ephemeris – Fomalhaut, the loneliest star in the sky

October 24, 2016

Ephemeris for Monday, October 24th.  The Sun will rise at 8:10.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 6:42.  The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:01 tomorrow morning.

There’s a bright star that appears for only seven and a half hours on autumn evenings.  It’s appearance, low in the south at 10 p.m., is a clear indication of the autumn season.  The star’s name is Fomalhaut, which means fish’s mouth.  That’s fitting because it’s in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish.  At our latitude it’s kind of the fish that got away, because Fomalhaut appears to be quite alone low in the sky.  The dimness of the constellation’s other stars and location close to the horizon make the faint stars hard to spot. The earth’s thick atmosphere near the horizon reduces their brightness by a factor of two or more, so Fomalhaut, one of the brightest stars in the sky, keeps a lonely vigil in the south.

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

Addendum

Aquarius and Fomalhaut as visualized by Stellarium

Aquarius and Fomalhaut as visualized by Stellarium. 

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