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01/28/2022 – Ephemeris – Auriga the charioteer without a chariot

January 28, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, January 28th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 5:45, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:05. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 6:10 tomorrow morning.

The constellation Auriga the charioteer is nearly overhead at 9 p.m. It is a pentagon of stars, with the brilliant star Capella at one of its upper corners. Capella represents a she-goat he’s carrying. A narrow triangle of stars nearby Capella represents her three kids. The chariot, or by some a wagon is not seen in the stars and is supposed to be pulled by four horses, abreast. Or four oxen, or two oxen, a horse, and a zebra. None of these are depicted in the stars. The only constellation art I’ve seen is a man holding a large goat and three baby goats. There’s no chariot, no wagon and definitely no horses, oxen or zebras. What I see is a distinctive pentagon of stars, with one, Capella, brighter than the rest, and a nearby small triangle of stars.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Auriga and surrounding constellations

Auriga and surrounding constellations at 9 pm in late January. Created using Stellarium.

Auriga finder animation

Auriga star field, constellation lines and art. Auriga seems to be missing a kid, he’s supposed to have three, I think. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

I checked other constellation art, and it appears that there are only two kids. I may have been wrong all these years. Yet the asterism of The Kids has three stars.