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06/25/2018 – Ephemeris – Andromeda’s Parachute

June 25, 2018

Ephemeris for Monday, June 25th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 9:32, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:58. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:02 tomorrow morning.

A recent post of Dr. Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy Blog caught my eye. The object discovered is being called Andromeda’s Parachute. It has three relatively bright star-like points arranged in an arc like a parachute canopy, with another star-like point beneath it as the parachutist. It is the light from a single quasar, an active galaxy nucleus being split up by the gravitational lens of a closer, but dimmer galaxy in between us and the quasar. It’s very beautiful, and within reach of only the biggest telescopes. It was discovered using the Pan-STARRS telescope on Haleakala in Maui by George Nelson.

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

Addendum

Panstarrs_quadruple_quasar

Quadruple quasar dubbed Andromeda’s parachute. The four images (A-D) of the quadruply lensed quasar J014709+463037 can be seen in this deep image taken by the Pan-STARRS telescope. The lensing galaxy (G) is marked by an X. Credit: Berghea et al.

The Bad Astronomer’s original post

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