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11/13/2020 – Ephemeris – Finding Perseus the hero in the stars

November 13, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, November 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 5:16, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:39. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:41 tomorrow morning.

About a third the way from the east northeastern horizon to the zenith at 8 p.m. and below the letter W shaped constellation of Cassiopeia the queen is Perseus the hero. It’s kind of an odd shape for a hero, To me it looks kinda like the cartoon roadrunner. To those who’re mathematically inclined its shape is also like the Greek letter pi on its side. It’s two brightest stars are Mirfak and Algol the demon star, the still winking eye of Medusa. Look at the area around Mirfak with binoculars and a large group of stars just below naked eye visibility will appear. It’s called the Alpha Persei Association. That’s because Mirfak is also known as Alpha Persei. The group is about 560 light years away, which means, though close, are farther away than the Pleiades, which is below and to the right of them.

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

Addendum

Perseus finder animation

Perseus finder animation for 8 pm November 13, 2020. The star Mirphak in the image is generally spelled Mirfak and is also designated Alpha Persei.

Alpha Persei Association

The Alpha Persei Association. The brightest star is Mirfak (Alpha Persei). This a an extreme crop from a photograph taken February 18, 2017, Canon EOS Rebel T5, 121 seconds, f/3.5, 18mm fl., ISO 3200. Credit Bob Moler.