Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:11pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:37pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:12pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:48pm

Moon Phase: 6.17% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 3:45am
       Age: 27d 6h 28m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our sixteenth year!
Tonight, we're Moon-free since it sets at 6:27pm - almost two full hours before the Sun. The dim DSOs (Deep Space Objects) that we love to view, will be available to us for the entire night. Beautiful Saturn with its magnificent rings and moons, is almost gone for another several months. As a matter of fact, tonight just might be the last Friday evening when it will be visible until next April. Why? Because the Earth's motion around the Sun has carried us far enough so that Saturn is nearly lost in the glare of the Sun. For the same reason, 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 more than an hour before sunrise but is totally lost in the glare of the rising sun
    Venus is now rising 13 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 2:39am
    Jupiter is a late night object rising at 10:43pm
    Saturn is visible in the evening until it sets at 9:56pm
    Uranus rises at 9:12pm
    Neptune rises at 7:50pm
 
  Pluto rises at 4:31pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be New in two days. It sets at 6:27pm this afternoon

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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Saturn       0.9     Vir     10:11   21:56
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     19:50   06:33
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     16:31   02:22

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:42   20:11
Mercury      1.5     Cnc     05:37   19:21
Venus       -3.9     Leo     06:55   20:24
Mars         1.4     Gem     02:39   17:48
Jupiter     -2.6     Ari     22:43   12:32
Uranus       5.7     Psc     21:12   09:27
Moon        -6.7     Cnc     03:45   18:27

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:42am
     Transit: 1:27pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:11pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.01056091 AU = 151,177,761 km = 93,937,507 miles = 8.42 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.65 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:37pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:12pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:48pm ( 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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 3:45am
     Transit: 11:11am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:27pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  6.17% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.00250076 AU = 374,109 km = 232,461 miles = 1.25 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -6.7
     Apparent size: 31.93 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 28.70 (morning sky)
     Age: 27d 6h 28m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Sunday Aug 21, 2011 at 5:54pm
      Next Phase: New Moon on Sunday Aug 28, 2011 at 11:04pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm the Moon will be 25.4 below the northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:37am
     Transit: 12:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:21pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  16.81% illuminated
     Distance: .74572017 AU = 111,558,150 km = 69,319,022 miles = 6.21 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.5
     Apparent size: 9.02 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 14.91 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, September 3, 2011 (18 06' 39")
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
     On 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Mercury will be 19.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 6:55am
     Transit: 1:40pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:24pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  99.84% illuminated
     Distance: 1.72576879 AU = 258,171,336 km = 160,420,233 miles = 14.37 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 9.67 arcseconds in ngular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 3.22 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Venus will be 9.6 below the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:39am
     Transit: 10:14am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:48pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  93.63% illuminated
     Distance: 2.01699484 AU = 301,738,133 km = 187,491,386 miles = 16.8 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.4
     Apparent size: 4.64 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 47.92 (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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Mars will be 24.1 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: 10:43pm
     Transit: 5:38am - Aug 27 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:32pm - Aug 27
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.11% illuminated
     Distance: 4.47150854 AU = 668,928,157 km = 415,652,692 miles = 37.24 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.6
     Apparent size: 44.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 113.11 (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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Jupiter will be 16.5 below the northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Aug 27, 2011 at  3:03am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 168.6
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io shadow transit begins on Saturday Aug 27, 2011 at 0:38am when Jupiter is 20 above the horizon
          Io transit begins on Saturday Aug 27, 2011 at 1:56am when Jupiter is 34.6 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Saturday Aug 27, 2011 at 2:48am when Jupiter is 43.9 above the horizon
          Io transit ends on Saturday Aug 27, 2011 at 4:03am when Jupiter is 55.5 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 10:11am
     Transit: 4:04pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:56pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.88% illuminated
     Distance: 10.39207117 AU = 1,554,631,719 km = 966,003,377 miles = 1.44 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 15.99 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 41.27 (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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Saturn will be 7.3 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 9:12pm
     Transit: 3:19am - Aug 27 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:27am - Aug 27
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 19.20213025 AU = 2,872,597,798 km = 1,784,949,541 miles = 2.67 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 149.74 (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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Uranus will be 1.2 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 7:50pm
     Transit: 1:12am - Aug 27 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:33am - Aug 27
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 28.99841657 AU = 4,338,101,372 km = 2,695,571,255 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 175.91 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Monday Aug 22, 2011 at 7:18pm
            Next: Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24am
     On 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Neptune will be 13 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 4:31pm
     Transit: 9:27pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:22am - Aug 27
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.54556081 AU = 4,719,148,727 km = 2,932,343,107 miles = 4.38 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 121.44 (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 8/26/2011 at 9:11:34pm Pluto will be 29.7 above the south-southeast horizon
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