Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tonight's Sky for November 14: Fomalhaut Due South at Dark


You may have noticed that the fall sky does not have a lot of bright stars when compared to summer. In fact, the fall sky does not have a single star in the 0 or brighter magnitude range. The star that does come closest at magnitude +1.1 is Fomalhaut (pronounced “foam a lot”), and it is just about due South when the sky gets truly dark, which is about an hour and a half after sunset. Fomalhaut is the alpha (brightest) star of Pisces Australis, the Southern Fish. Adding to Fomalhaut's prominence is the fact that, at mid-Northern latitudes, there are no bright stars in the Southern sky with the stars of the Great Square (2nd magnitude) being the most Southerly stars of any real brightness. For that reason, many people think Fomalhaut s brighter than it actually is. 

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