12/08/2016 – Ephemeris – Aldebaran, the follower
Ephemeris for Thursday, December 8th. The Sun will rise at 8:07. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:02. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:26 tomorrow morning.
The central constellation of winter, Orion, is low in the east-southeast at 9 p.m. Above it is Taurus the bull. The bright orange star in Taurus is Aldebaran. Aldebaran appears at the bottom left tip of a letter V group of stars lying on its side that is the face of the bull. Aldebaran isn’t actually part of the group, called the Hyades star cluster. The cluster is about 151 light years away, while Aldebaran is a bit less than half that. The star has an orange hue because its surface is cooler than the Sun’s. However Aldebaran is 44 times larger in diameter, and shines 350 times brighter than the Sun. Next Monday night the 12th, the Moon will pass in front of Aldebaran in an event called an occultation I’ll have more information on it then. The name Aldebaran means The Follower, since it follows the Pleiades across the sky as the Earth rotates.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.