Home > Astronomical History, Ephemeris Program > 12/27/2019 – Ephemeris – A Decade of astronomical and space firsts

12/27/2019 – Ephemeris – A Decade of astronomical and space firsts

December 27, 2019

Ephemeris for Friday, December 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:08, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:38 this evening.

The 2010s were quite a decade in astronomy and space. 24 years ago the first exoplanet, that is planet orbiting another star, was discovered: 51 Pegasi b. As of December 8th the number of confirmed exoplanets stands at 4,104. At mid decade we got a close look at the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons, and early this year at the distant object temporarily called Ultima Thule. Early this year the Event Horizon Telescope consortium released the image of a black hole over 50 million light years away. Also the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories detected two neutron stars colliding which set off a frenzy of activity by astronomers who viewed the aftermath from gamma rays to microwaves.

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


Kepler Spacecraft. Credit NASA.

Kepler Spacecraft studied a single patch of sky for several years and has discovered the bulk of the exoplanets. Credit NASA.


Enhanced color portrait of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

First closeup of Ultima Thule

486958 Arrokoth original dubbed Ultima Thule by the New Horizons team on approach combining low resolution image with the high resolution monochromatic image shows the body in almost true color. Credit NASA/JHAPL/SWRi

Black hole in M87

The first image of the black hole in M87. Credit Event Horizon Telescope.

Neutron Star Collision GW 170817 timeline

Neutron Star Collision GW 170817 timeline. Horizontal axis in seconds (exponential). Click on chart to enlarge. From the High Energy Stereoscopic System website.

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