Archive for June 17, 2022

06/17/2022 – Ephemeris – What’s that weird twinkly star low in the south?

June 17, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, June 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 9:30, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 12:55 tomorrow morning.

At this time of year, there is a star that appears low in the south-southeast that appears red and twinkles mightily. The twinkling caused by the Earth’s atmosphere is enhanced when viewing it in binoculars. In a telescope, it appears as a virtual sparkler. It’s been called in to authorities as a UFO, unidentified flying object, or as the Defense Department now calls them UAPs, or unidentified aerial phenomena. Anyway, this light is identified. It is the red giant star Antares, in the heart of Scorpius the scorpion, one of the constellations of the zodiac. Antares other claim to fame is embodied in its name. Decoded, Antares means Rival of Mars due to its color and the fact that Mars passes by every couple of years. Ant means anti, and Ares is the Greek god of war that the Romans appropriated as Mars.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.


Antares low in the SSE

Antares low in the south-southeast at 10:30 pm, June 17, 2022, without Mars for competition. At this time, Antares is only 13 degrees above the horizon. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created Using Stellarium and GIMP.

Scorpius at its highest

Scorpius at its highest as seen from the Grand Traverse area. Antares at this time is not quite 19 degrees altitude. This is 1 am, June 18th. Perceptive viewers of this image may spot a teapot in the stars to the left of Scorpius. That’s what we modern folk see in the stars of Sagittarius the archer. Created using Stellarium.