Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:22pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:48pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:24pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:01pm

Moon Phase: 67.29% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 10:41pm
       Age: 20d 6h 43m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our sixteenth year!
Tonight, we'll be Moon free until it rises at 10:41pm. The dim DSOs (Deep Space Objects) that we love to view, will be available until approximately 1:00am when the Moon will clear the trees to the east of the observing field. Beautiful Saturn with its magnificent rings and moons, is almost gone for another several months. The Earth's rotation of the Sun has now carried us far enough so that Saturn is nearly lost in the glare of the Sun. Don't dispair, however...Jupiter is rising early enough now for us to see this king of the planets. 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 be visible. Galaxies will be available to us, but difficult unless the night is perfectly clear.

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

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it IS night time after all ;^)
    Mercury is rising 10 minutes before sunrise and now totally lost in the glare of the rising sun
    Venus is now rising 3 minutes after sunrise and, like Mercury, totally lost in the glare of the Sun
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is a late night object now, rising at 2:45am
    Jupiter is a late night object rising at 11:10pm
    Saturn is visible in the evening until it sets at 10:22pm
    Uranus rises at 9:40pm
    Neptune rises at 8:18pm
 
  Pluto rises at 4:59pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is nearly at third quarter and rises at 10:41pm tonight

Click here for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.
All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio
Longitude: W 81 25' 38.4"
 Latitude: N41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Saturn       0.9     Vir     10:35   22:22
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     20:18   07:02
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     16:59   02:50

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:35   20:22
Mercury      4.1     Leo     06:25   19:47
Venus       -3.9     Leo     06:38   20:29
Mars         1.4     Gem     02:45   17:58
Jupiter     -2.6     Ari     23:10   12:59
Uranus       5.7     Psc     21:40   09:56
Moon       -10.7     Ari     22:41   13:27

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:35am
     Transit: 1:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:22pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.01199122 AU = 151,391,731 km = 94,070,462 miles = 8.43 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.61 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:48pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:24pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:01pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Summer began at the Summer Solstice which occurred on Tuesday Jun 21, 2011 at 1:17pm
     Fall begins at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Friday Sep 23, 2011 at 5:05am

     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 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 10:41pm
     Transit: 6:00am - Aug 20 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:27pm - Aug 20
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  67.29% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00271073 AU = 405,519 km = 251,978 miles = 1.35 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -10.7
     Apparent size: 29.46 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 110.09 (morning sky)
     Age: 20d 6h 43m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Saturday Aug 13, 2011 at 2:58pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Sunday Aug 21, 2011 at 5:54pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm the Moon will be 13.8 below the northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:25am
     Transit: 1:05pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:47pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  2.35% illuminated
     Distance: .63563268 AU = 95,089,296 km = 59,085,750 miles = 5.29 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 4.1
     Apparent size: 10.58 arcseconds in  angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 6.67 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, September 3, 2011 (18 06' 39")
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
     On 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Mercury will be 17.8 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 6:38am
     Transit: 1:34pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:29pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 1.7296441 AU = 258,751,075 km = 160,780,466 miles = 14.41 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 9.65 arcseconds in ngular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 1.66 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Venus will be 10.4 below the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:45am
     Transit: 10:22am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:58pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  94.01% illuminated
     Distance: 2.05025688 AU = 306,714,063 km = 190,583,285 miles = 17.08 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.4
     Apparent size: 4.56 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 45.70 (morning 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 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Mars will be 23.9 below the north-northwest 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/home/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: 11:10pm
     Transit: 6:04am - Aug 20 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:59pm - Aug 20
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.03% illuminated
     Distance: 4.57156709 AU = 683,896,702 km = 424,953,714 miles = 38.08 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.6
     Apparent size: 43.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 106.54 (morning 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 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Jupiter will be 18.8 below the northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Aug 20, 2011 at  2:08am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 163.7
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io transit begins on Saturday Aug 20, 2011 at 0:05am when Jupiter is 8.7 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Saturday Aug 20, 2011 at 0:54am when Jupiter is 17.9 above the horizon
          Io transit ends on Saturday Aug 20, 2011 at 2:13am when Jupiter is 32.7 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 10:35am
     Transit: 4:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:22pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.85% illuminated
     Distance: 10.31099851 AU = 1,542,503,422 km = 958,467,202 miles = 1.43 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 16.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 47.31 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Sunday Apr 3, 2011 at 7:48pm
            Next: Sunday Apr 15, 2012 at 2:19pm
     On 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Saturn will be 9.9 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 9:40pm
     Transit: 3:48am - Aug 20 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:56am - Aug 20
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 19.26646781 AU = 2,882,222,560 km = 1,790,930,091 miles = 2.67 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.66 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 142.79 (morning 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 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Uranus will be 4.2 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 8:18pm
     Transit: 1:40am - Aug 20 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:02am - Aug 20
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 28.99600319 AU = 4,337,740,336 km = 2,695,346,918 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.36 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 177.07 (morning 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 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Neptune will be 10.4 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 4:59pm
     Transit: 9:54pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:50am - Aug 20
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.44434773 AU = 4,704,007,465 km = 2,922,934,763 miles = 4.37 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 128.23 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Tuesday Jun 28, 2011 at 1:23am
            Next: Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03am
     On 8/19/2011 at 9:23:40pm Pluto will be 29.4 above the south-southeast horizon
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