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12/15/2020 – Ephemeris – Hyades, the face of Taurus the bull

15 Dec 2020, 05:01 UTC
12/15/2020 – Ephemeris – Hyades, the face of Taurus the bull
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This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, December 15th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:14. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:03 this evening.
The face of the constellation Taurus the bull looks like the letter V sideways above the rising Orion the Hunter in the east at 9 p.m. The bright star at the tip of a letter V of stars is Aldebaran. Look with binoculars at the letter V shape and you will see the stars of the Hyades star cluster The Hyades is the closest star cluster to us, at about 153 light years. And is important for that reason. Before satellites like Hipparcos and Gaia the Hyades was the only star cluster that could be directly measured by a technique called parallax, using the radius of the Earth’s orbit as one side of a surveyors enormous triangle. Its many stars at the same distance were used to determine distances of star clusters even farther away. Additional techniques based on the distance of the Hyades allowed us to measure distances to the nearest galaxies.
The event times given are for ...

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