Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 6:59pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:24pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 7:56pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:27pm

Moon Phase: 2.26% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 8:34am
       Age: 1d 5h 16m since last New Moon
Tonight, we're Moon-free for the entire session.  We have a 2% illuminated (waxing crescent) Moon that sets at 7:11pm 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 - and now it's rising early enough to see without having to wait.  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 at sunset.
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is 7.5 directly above Venus at sunset, but also lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Jupiter is with us all night now and It's HUGE and BRIGHT. Truly the King of the planets!
    Saturn is now a morning object, but still lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Uranus is with us all night and 2 east of Jupiter.
    Neptune is now easily visible in our telescopes 30 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 since it sets at 7:11pm just after sunset.
    Comet P/Hartley (103P) is in Perseus at 5th magnitude. It's 1.3 east of the "Double Cluster"

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: N 41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com
ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.5     Lib     10:06   20:15
Jupiter     -2.9     Psc     18:08   05:57
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:09   06:08
Neptune      7.9     Cap     16:51   03:27
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     13:31   23:25

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:26   18:59
Mercury     -1.3     Vir     06:52   18:51
Venus       -4.5     Lib     10:09   19:30
Saturn       0.9     Vir     06:52   18:52
Moon        -5.2     Vir     08:34   19:11
Sun data:
     Rise: 7:26am
     Transit: 1:13pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:59pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: .99905215 AU = 149,456,074 km = 92,867,700 miles = 8.32 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.02 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:24pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:56pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:27pm ( 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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 8:34am
     Transit: 1:57pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:11pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  2.26% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00244357 AU = 365,553 km = 227,144 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -5.2
     Apparent size: 32.68 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 17.25 (evening sky)
     Age: 1d 5h 16m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Thursday Oct 7, 2010 at 2:45pm
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Thursday Oct 14, 2010 at 5:27pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm the Moon will be 9.1 below the west-southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:52am
     Transit: 12:52pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:51pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  97.90% illuminated
     Distance: 1.35560264 AU = 202,795,268 km = 126,011,139 miles = 11.29 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.3
     Apparent size: 4.96 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 6.23 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (21 27' 14")
          Morning: Sunday, January 9, 2011 (23 16' 55")
     On 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Mercury will be 13.2 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 10:09am
     Transit: 2:50pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:30pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  12.25% illuminated
     Distance: .32980671 AU = 49,338,382 km = 30,657,450 miles = 2.75 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.5
     Apparent size: 50.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 28.47 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, January 8, 2011 (46 57' 24")
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
     On 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Venus will be 5.3 below the southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 10:06am
     Transit: 3:11pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:15pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  97.05% illuminated
     Distance: 2.2796388 AU = 341,029,110 km = 211,905,667 miles = 18.99 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.5
     Apparent size: 4.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 30.79 (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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Mars will be 2.2 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: 6:08pm
     Transit: 0:03am - Oct 9 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:57am - Oct 9
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.89% illuminated
     Distance: 4.00306093 AU = 598,849,391 km = 372,107,765 miles = 33.34 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 49.25 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 160.47 (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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Jupiter will be 18.5 above the east horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Oct 09, 2010 at  5:13am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 146.9
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io transit begins on Friday Oct 08, 2010 at 9:02pm when Jupiter is 29.5 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit begins on Friday Oct 08, 2010 at 9:29pm when Jupiter is 33.5 above the horizon
          Io transit ends on Friday Oct 08, 2010 at 11:16pm when Jupiter is 44.5 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Friday Oct 08, 2010 at 11:44pm when Jupiter is 45.6 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 6:52am
     Transit: 12:52pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:52pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.55019962 AU = 1,578,287,398 km = 980,702,334 miles = 1.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 15.75 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 7.20 (morning 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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Saturn will be 13 below the west horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:09pm
     Transit: 0:08am - Oct 9 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:08am - Oct 9
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.13758291 AU = 2,862,941,653 km = 1,778,949,490 miles = 2.66 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 162.30 (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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Uranus will be 18.6 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 4:51pm
     Transit: 10:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:27am - Oct 9
     Constellation: Capricornus
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.35746332 AU = 4,391,814,002 km = 2,728,946,737 miles = 4.08 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 130.54 (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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Neptune will be 27.3 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:31pm
     Transit: 6:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:25pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.11363269 AU = 4,804,131,071 km = 2,985,148,689 miles = 4.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 77.39 (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 10/8/2010 at 7:55:32pm Pluto will be 26.8 above the south-southwest horizon


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