Ephemeris for Thursday, January 2nd. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 5:13. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:48 tomorrow morning.
The bright red giant star in the constellation Orion’s shoulder is in the news. It is dimming, and it is dimmer now than it has been for a very long time. A chart by the American Association of Variable Star Observers shows that this is the dimmest it’s been going back to 1970 and maybe a long time before that. Betelgeuse was first noticed to vary in brightness in 1838. It is the left star at the top of Orion’s upright rectangle of stars. Bellatrix is the right corner star. Betelgeuse is now only a little brighter than it, and much dimmer than Rigel the lower right corner star. A couple of years ago it was brighter than it had been since 1970. Astronomers are watching and waiting. They expect Betelgeuse to explode as a supernova sometime in the next million years.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Orion’s brightest stars with ...