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12/27/2019 – Ephemeris – A Decade of astronomical and space firsts

27 Dec 2019, 05:01 UTC
12/27/2019 – Ephemeris – A Decade of astronomical and space firsts
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Ephemeris for Friday, December 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:08, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:38 this evening.
The 2010s were quite a decade in astronomy and space. 24 years ago the first exoplanet, that is planet orbiting another star, was discovered: 51 Pegasi b. As of December 8th the number of confirmed exoplanets stands at 4,104. At mid decade we got a close look at the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons, and early this year at the distant object temporarily called Ultima Thule. Early this year the Event Horizon Telescope consortium released the image of a black hole over 50 million light years away. Also the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories detected two neutron stars colliding which set off a frenzy of activity by astronomers who viewed the aftermath from gamma rays to microwaves.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Addendum
Kepler Spacecraft studied a single patch of sky for several years and has discovered the bulk of the exoplanets. Credit NASA.
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