Strange Universe 9/15/19 | WAMC

Strange Universe 9/15/19

Sep 15, 2019

Tonight or the next clear night, look straight up at nightfall, around 8 PM.  Only one bright star hovers directly overhead, so you can't miss it. This is Vega.

Many people mispronounce it as VAY-ga, but it's actually an old Arabic word originally pronounced WEE-guh, which means a falling eagle. Vega is the only bright summer star that ascends to within a few degrees of the exact zenith. In 1994 Canadian astronomers found that Vega spins much faster than our own sun. Our sun whirls around every 25 days, while Vega rotates in just 11 hours. And its pole of rotation is pointed straight toward us. For any stargazing Vegans looking up, our sun is its north star!