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12/17/2020 – Ephemeris – Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse… Nope not saying it again

17 Dec 2020, 05:01 UTC
12/17/2020 – Ephemeris – Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse… Nope not saying it again
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, December 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:15. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 8:18 this evening.
The constellation Orion the hunter will have completely risen by 8 pm this evening. The leftmost bright red star in his shoulder is Betelgeuse. It’s phonetically spelled name (Beetle Juice) made the title of a movie in 1988. A year ago it’s dramatic dimming for a while caused some to wonder that it was about to explode in a supernova. Betelgeuse does normally vary a bit in brightness, but that was the most ever recorded. It’s a red giant star with a mass of 16 to 19 times the Sun’s. Its distance is thought to be about 550 light years away. It is difficult to measure the distance of single bright stars, even with satellites. Its age is maybe 8 to 8 ½ million years old out of a life expectancy of 10 million years, compared to the Sun’s 10 billion year life expectancy.
The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. ...

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