Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site - Friday 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm (nautical twilight).

                    Sunset: 7:46pm
       Civil twilight ends: 8:11pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 8:44pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 9:18pm

Moon Phase: 9.86% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 9:46am
       Set: 8:41pm
       Age: 2d 14h 9m since last New Moon
Tonight, we're Moon-free for the entire session.  We have a 10% illuminated (waxing crescent) Moon that sets at 8:41pm this evening.  This is one of those nights we wait for since all the faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) will be visible due to the absence of the Moon.  We have the colorful double stars, open clusters made up of hundreds of stars, the globular clusters comprised of hundreds of thousands of stars, planetary nebula formed by dying stars, diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born.  Galaxies, including M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy - our closest neighboring island universe - will be ours for the asking if you stay late enough.  Bring binoculars if you have a pair and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy with them!  Also, we'll show you how to find the beautiful "Coat Hanger" cluster which is best seen in binoculars.

How about the planets...which ones can we see tonight? 

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it will be night time after all. ;^)
    Mercury is no longer visible in the evening. It will soon be a morning object.
    Venus, with a waning crescent phase, is sinking ever lower in the west. Still extremely bright!
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is 6.0 to Venus' upper right. Note that Mars appears far dimmer than Venus.
    Jupiter is now rising early enough for us and will be visible after 9:45pm.
    Saturn is no longer visible before sunset.  It's gone for the year as an evening object.
    Uranus is now rising early enough for us and will be visible after 9:45pm.
    Neptune is now easily visible after dark and for the entire night.
    Pluto is up tonight, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see it in our telescopes!
Moon is not visible tonight, it sets at 8:41pm this evening.

Click HERE for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.
We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our fifteenth year!
All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio
Longitude: W 81 25' 38.3"
 Latitude: N 41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m
The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be on Friday 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Venus       -4.5     Vir     10:50   21:06
Mars         1.5     Vir     10:19   21:16
Jupiter     -2.9     Psc     20:07   08:06
Uranus       5.7     Psc     20:01   08:03
Neptune      7.8     Cap     18:43   05:20
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     15:20   01:15

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:58   19:46
Mercury      1.9     Leo     06:03   19:07
Saturn       1.0     Vir     08:24   20:34
Moon        -7.5     Vir     09:46   20:41

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:58am
     Transit: 1:22pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:46pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.00684089 AU = 150,621,253 km = 93,591,709 miles = 8.39 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.77 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:11pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:44pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:18pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Summer began at the Summer Solstice which occurred on Monday Jun 21, 2010 at 7:29am
     Fall begins at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Wednesday Sep 22, 2010 at 11:10pm

     Next Solar Eclipse: Partial eclipse (>80%) on Monday August 21, 2017 2:30pm EDT
     Next TOTAL Solar Eclipse: Monday April 8, 2024 at 3:15pm
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 9:46am
     Transit: 3:18pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:41pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  9.86% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00243915 AU = 364,892 km = 226,733 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -7.5
     Apparent size: 32.74 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 36.52 (evening sky)
     Age: 2d 14h 9m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Wednesday Sep 8, 2010 at 6:30am
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Wednesday Sep 15, 2010 at 1:50am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm the Moon will be 1.8 below the west-southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:03am
     Transit: 12:34pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:07pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  12.16% illuminated
     Distance: .7267006 AU = 108,712,863 km = 67,551,042 miles = 6.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.9
     Apparent size: 9.26 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 12.67 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Sunday, September 19, 2010 (17 52' 13")
          Evening: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (21 27' 14")
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Mercury will be 18.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 10:50am
     Transit: 3:58pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:06pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  35.32% illuminated
     Distance: .51362944 AU = 76,837,871 km = 47,744,840 miles = 4.28 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.5
     Apparent size: 32.49 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 43.74 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, January 8, 2011 (46 57' 24")
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Venus will be 2.7 above the southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 10:19am
     Transit: 3:47pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:16pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  95.57% illuminated
     Distance: 2.1900993 AU = 327,634,192 km = 203,582,451 miles = 18.24 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.5
     Apparent size: 4.27 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 39.20 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Mars is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Jan 29, 2010 at 2:21pm.  Distance: 99,400,435 km.  Size: 14.08 arcseconds.
            Next: Saturday Mar 3, 2012 at 3:52pm.  Distance: 100,839,728 km.  Size: 13.88 arcseconds.
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Mars will be 4.6 above the west-southwest horizon

     No, Mars was *not* "...as big as a Full Moon on August 27!"
     Please see the following links for more information about this annual 'Mars Hoax'
         http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/8708182.html
         http://www.snopes.com/science/astronomy/brightmars.asp
         http://www.hoax-slayer.com/mars-earth-close.html
         http://www.universetoday.com/2007/07/25/will-the-mars-look-as-big-as-the-moon-on-august-27-nope/

Jupiter data:
     Rise: 8:07pm
     Transit: 2:06am - Sep 11 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:06am - Sep 11
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 3.96851953 AU = 593,682,071 km = 368,896,941 miles = 33.06 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 49.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 168.33 (morning sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Aug 14, 2009 at 1:44pm
            Next: Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 7:28am
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Jupiter will be 5.8 above the east horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Sep 11, 2010 at  2:11am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 146.3
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Ganymede transit begins on Friday Sep 10, 2010 at 9:08pm when Jupiter is 10.3 above the horizon
          Ganymede shadow transit ends on Friday Sep 10, 2010 at 10:58pm when Jupiter is 29.5 above the horizon
          Ganymede transit ends on Friday Sep 10, 2010 at 11:55pm when Jupiter is 37.8 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 8:24am
     Transit: 2:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:34pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 10.50839849 AU = 1,572,034,039 km = 976,816,677 miles = 1.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 1.0
     Apparent size: 15.82 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 17.23 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Sunday Mar 21, 2010 at 8:28pm
            Next: Sunday Apr 3, 2011 at 7:48pm
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Saturn will be 3 below the west horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 8:01pm
     Transit: 2:02am - Sep 11 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:03am - Sep 11
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.10260754 AU = 2,857,709,412 km = 1,775,698,327 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 169.15 (morning sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Thursday Sep 17, 2009 at 5:34am
            Next: Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 12:51pm
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Uranus will be 6.9 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 6:43pm
     Transit: 0:01am - Sep 11 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:20am - Sep 11
     Constellation: Capricornus
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.078149 AU = 4,350,029,174 km = 2,702,982,848 miles = 4.04 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 158.51 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 5:59am
            Next: Monday Aug 22, 2011 at 7:18pm
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Neptune will be 19.1 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 3:20pm
     Transit: 8:17pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:15am - Sep 11
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.62807742 AU = 4,731,493,036 km = 2,940,013,506 miles = 4.39 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 104.53 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Jun 25, 2010 at 2:59pm
            Next: Tuesday Jun 28, 2011 at 1:23am
     On 9/10/2010 at 8:44:12pm Pluto will be 30 above the south horizon
  
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