01/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Betelgeuse the bright red star in Orion
Ephemeris for Monday, January 9th. The Sun will rise at 8:18. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:21. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 6:06 tomorrow morning.
The bright red star in constellation Orion’s shoulder is Betelgeuse, 643 light years away give or take 146 light years. Betelgeuse is a shortened form of an Arabic phrase that means “Armpit of the central one”. Orion is seen in the south in the evening. Even at its great distance it’s the star whose surface is easiest seen, after the sun of course. That’s because it’s so big. Possibly larger around than the orbit of Jupiter, though that’s hard to determine. Recent telescopic observations of Betelgeuse have shown shells of gas surrounding the star. A star like Betelgeuse is so bloated that it can be described as a red-hot vacuum, thus its edge or limb is much darker than its center. The sun has limb darkening too, but it is much less noticeable.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Betelgeuse is a single star like the Sun there is evidence that Betelgeuse may have eaten its companion star 100,000 years ago, yum! http://phys.org/news/2016-12-famous-red-star-betelgeuse-faster.html