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12/28/2017 – Ephemeris – Two astronomical highlights in 2017

December 28, 2017

Ephemeris for Thursday, December 28th. The Sun will rise at 8:18. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:09. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 3:54 tomorrow morning.

In my book 2017 has been not so nice of a year. However astronomically speaking, there were at least two notable bright spots. The first was the Great American Solar Eclipse, August 21st that was visible coast to coast. Though I didn’t choose the best spot in Fayette Missouri I did witness the eclipse under hazy skies, and did record the Moon’s shadow passing over us. The other actually occurred four days earlier, but wasn’t announced to the public for months later. The detection via gravity waves, gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, infrared, and radio waves of a pair of neutron stars colliding. This is the new field multi-messenger astronomy. A quarter of all professional astronomers were involved with the event.

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

Addendum

Total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017

Solar corona

A composite image of something like 70 exposures of the Sun’s corona taken August 21, 2017 by Scott Anttila, former president of the GTAS.

August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse sky

August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse sky from Fayette MO, with an action camera looking at the eclipse and sky, watching the Moon’s shadow pass over us from behind us on the right to the left, with quick looks right and left. Photography and processing by Bob Moler.

Neutron star merger discovered August 17, 2017

SSS17a aka GW170817 optically

Optical discovery and fading of SSS17a aka GW170817 by Swope & Magellan Telescopes.

Neutron Star Collision GW 170817 timeline

Neutron Star Collision GW170817 timeline. Horizontal axis in seconds (exponential). From the High Energy Stereoscopic System website.

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