Archive for November 18, 2022

11/18/2022 – Ephemeris – Fomalhaut’s disappearing “planet”

November 18, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, November 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 5:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:32 tomorrow morning.

The lonely bright star low in the south at 8 p.m. these evenings is Fomalhaut, the harbinger of autumn in my book, and about to leave as winter approaches. Fomalhaut is a young white star only about 400 million years old with a disk of dust surrounding it. Near an outer dust ring, in 2008 the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a spot. Four years later, astronomers discovered that the spot had moved along the dust lane and announced the first direct discovery of an exoplanet. In 2010 and 2012 the planet now dubbed Fomalhaut b or Dagon was observed again. However, it appears to be dissipating. It might be an expanding cloud of debris that’s the result of two asteroids colliding. We’ll keep watching.

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.


Fomalhaut ring and disappearing "planet"? Dagon

Hubble Space Telescope image of Fomalhaut’s ring and model of the disappearing dust cloud that was first thought to be a planet. Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute.