Home > Ephemeris Program, Exoplanets > 11/24/2017 – Ephemeris – Fomalhaut, the loneliest star, has a little buddy

11/24/2017 – Ephemeris – Fomalhaut, the loneliest star, has a little buddy

November 24, 2017

Ephemeris for Friday, November 24th. The Sun will rise at 7:51. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 5:07. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 10:30 this evening.

The lonely bright star low in the south at 8 p.m. these evenings is Fomalhaut the harbinger of autumn in my book, and about to leave as winter approaches.  Fomalhaut means fishes mouth and is located at the head of Piscis Austrinus, a very dim constellation.  Fomalhaut is a young white star only about 400 million years old with a disk of dust surrounding it.  Near an outer dust ring, 15 years ago the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a spot.  Four years later astronomers discovered that the spot moved along the dust lane and announced the first direct discovery of an exoplanet.  In 2010 and 2012 the planet now dubbed Fomalhaut b or Dagon was observed again and it really does orbit Fomalhaut in a very eccentric orbit.

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

Addendum

Fomalhaut in the south at 8 p.m. on November 15, 2012. Created using Stellarium.

Fomalhaut in the south at 8 p.m. on November evenings. Created using Stellarium.

Fomalhaut b

Fomalhaut b and it’s path around its star. Credit: NASA, ESA, and P. Kalas (University of California, Berkeley and SETI Institute)

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