Posts Tagged ‘Multiple star systems’

01/20/2023 – Ephemeris – Gemini’s Castor is six stars orbiting each other

January 20, 2023 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, January 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 5:34, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:12. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 8:34 tomorrow morning.

At 9 p.m. the constellation of Gemini the twins will be seen high in the east-southeast. The namesake stars of the two lads are the two bright stars at the left of the constellation. Pollux the pugilist, or boxer, is the lower and slightly brighter of the two, while Castor, the horseman, is the other star, or rather a six-star system. In telescopes two close stars may be seen, each is a spectroscopic binary, meaning the lines of two stars can be seen in the spectrum, shifting as they orbit each other. Another faint spectroscopic binary also belongs. Pollux, though a single star, does have at least one planet with over twice the mass of Jupiter orbiting the star. Pollux and Castor are respectively 34 and 50 light years away. Not too far away as stars go.

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.


Castor star system
The Castor star system exploded in this JPL/NASA infographic.