Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 7:10pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:35pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 8:07pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:39pm

Moon Phase: 40.75% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 0:59am - Oct 2
       Age: 23d 13h 40m since last New Moon
Tonight, we're essentially Moon-free for nearly the entire session.  We have a 40% illuminated (waning crescent) Moon that won't rise until after 1:00am Saturday morning.  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 and open clusters made up of hundreds of stars that will look beautiful; the globular clusters will be fantastic as will the planetary nebula formed by dying stars.  The diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born will also be visible.  Galaxies will be available to us as well.  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 IS night time after all. ;^)
    Mercury is no longer visible in the evening. It is now a morning object and visible before sunrise..
    Venus, with a waning crescent phase, is nearly lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is 6.5 to Venus' upper right, but also lost in the glare of the Sun..
    Jupiter is with us all night now and It's HUGE and BRIGHT!!
    Saturn is no longer visible before sunset. It's gone for the year as an evening object.
    Uranus is with us all night and is less than 1.5 to Jupiter's upper left
    Neptune is now easily visible after dark and for the entire night 30 to the west of Jupiter
 
  Pluto is up tonight, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!  We can show you where it is, though.  OK, OK...if you want to try to see it, we'll try!
    Moon won't be with us until it rises at 1:00am Saturday morning.

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 sixteenth year!

All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio
Longitude: W 81 25' 38.3"
 Latitude: N41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com
ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.5     Lib     10:09   20:29
Jupiter     -2.9     Psc     18:38   06:29
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:37   06:37
Neptune      7.8     Cap     17:19   03:55
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     13:58   23:52

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:19   19:10
Mercury     -1.2     Vir     06:16   18:51
Venus       -4.6     Lib     10:31   19:59
Saturn       0.9     Vir     07:15   19:17
Moon        -9.7     Gem     00:59   15:59
Sun data:
     Rise: 7:19am
     Transit: 1:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:10pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: 1.00103347 AU = 149,752,476 km = 93,051,876 miles = 8.34 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.95 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:35pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:07pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:39pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Fall began at the Autumnal Equinox which occurred on Wednesday Sep 22, 2010 at 11:10pm
     Winter begins at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Tuesday Dec 21, 2010 at 6:39pm

     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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 0:59am - Oct 2
     Transit: 8:34am - Oct 2 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:59pm - Oct 2
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  40.75% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.00251817 AU = 376,713 km = 234,079 miles = 1.26 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -9.7
     Apparent size: 31.71 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 79.20 (morning sky)
     Age: 23d 13h 40m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Thursday Sep 30, 2010 at 11:52pm
      Next Phase: New Moon on Thursday Oct 7, 2010 at 2:45pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm the Moon will be 28.7 below the north horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:16am
     Transit: 12:34pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:51pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  89.98% illuminated
     Distance: 1.25106344 AU = 187,156,426 km = 116,293,613 miles = 10.42 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.2
     Apparent size: 5.38 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 11.73 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (21 27' 14")
          Morning: Sunday, January 9, 2011 (23 16' 55")
     On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Mercury will be 15 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 10:31am
     Transit: 3:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:59pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  18.54% illuminated
     Distance: .36879843 AU = 55,171,460 km = 34,281,956 miles = 3.07 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.6
     Apparent size: 45.24 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 34.36 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, January 8, 2011 (46 57' 24")
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
     On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Venus will be 2.5 below the southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 10:09am
     Transit: 3:19pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:29pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  96.70% illuminated
     Distance: 2.26039062 AU = 338,149,624 km = 210,116,438 miles = 18.83 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.5
     Apparent size: 4.14 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 32.85 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Mars will be 2.8 above the southwest horizon

     Question: Will Mars be "as big as a Full Moon on August 27!" ???
       Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

     Question: Will there be "Two Full Moons in the Sky!" ???
       Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

     Mars was the closest in recorded history on August 27, but that was only in 2003, not every year!
     At that time, it appeared to be 1/75th the apparent diameter of the Moon!  NOT the "same size as the Full Moon".

     Please check these respected sites for their stories on the "Mars hoax" by clicking on the links below:
         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: 6:38pm
     Transit: 0:33am - Oct 2 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:29am - Oct 2
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 3.97251697 AU = 594,280,080 km = 369,268,526 miles = 33.09 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 49.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 168.18 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 7:28am
            Next: Friday Oct 28, 2011 at 9:37pm
     On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Jupiter will be 15.3 above the east horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Oct 02, 2010 at  4:27am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 146.7
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io transit ends on Friday Oct 01, 2010 at 9:31pm when Jupiter is 29.5 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Friday Oct 01, 2010 at 9:48pm when Jupiter is 32.1 above the horizon






Saturn data:
     Rise: 7:15am
     Transit: 1:16pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:17pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.55787058 AU = 1,579,434,957 km = 981,415,395 miles = 1.47 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 15.74 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 2.32 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Saturn will be 10.4 below the west horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:37pm
     Transit: 0:37am - Oct 2 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:37am - Oct 2
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.10687343 AU = 2,858,347,581 km = 1,776,094,866 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 169.45 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 12:51pm
            Next: Sunday Sep 25, 2011 at 8:07pm
     On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Uranus will be 15.6 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 5:19pm
     Transit: 10:37pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:55am - Oct 2
     Constellation: Capricornus
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.27041088 AU = 4,378,791,142 km = 2,720,854,706 miles = 4.06 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 137.55 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Neptune will be 25.4 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:58pm
     Transit: 6:55pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:52pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.99265589 AU = 4,786,033,199 km = 2,973,903,192 miles = 4.44 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 84.19 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Pluto will be 27.9 above the south horizon
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