Archive for June 29, 2020

06/29/2020 – Vega, brightest star of the Summer Triangle

June 29, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, June 29th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:32, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:00. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:46 tomorrow morning.

Vega is the highest star In the east and brightest star of the Summer Triangle also rising in that direction. It is an important and much studied star, first as a standard for brightness for thr star brightness magnitude scale at magnitude of almost exactly zero. It also has two fields of debris orbiting it. In 1983 the Infrared Astronomy Satellite discovered an excess of infrared radiation coming from the star. It seems now that there are two orbiting rings, one warm, and the other cold orbiting the star. This is somewhat like the two disks the Sun has: The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the Kuiper belt, beyond Neptune. No planets have been discovered around Vega, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

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


Vega debris fields

Vega possesses two debris fields, similar to our own solar system’s asteroid and Kuiper belts. Astronomers continue to hunt for planets orbiting Vega, but as of May 2020 none have been confirmed. More info: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium.

Summer Triangle. Created using Stellarium.