Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 8:00pm
       Civil twilight ends: 8:25pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 8:59pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 9:34pm

Moon Phase: 31.13% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 12:24pm
       Age: 4d 21h 50m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our sixteenth year!
Tonight, we'll have a beautiful waxing crescent Moon with us until it sets at 10:29pm. A tremendous amount of detail will be visible on the terminator - the line separating lunar night from day. In addition, we'll have all the DSO's (Deep Space Objects) available after the Moon sets. Jupiter will be visible by 11:30pm after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field. 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 90 minutes before sunrise and is visible in the east before sunrise
    Venus is now setting 17 minutes after sunset and 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 2:33am
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 10:16pm
    Saturn is visible in the evening until it sets at 9:30pm
    Uranus rises at 8:44pm
    Neptune rises at 7:22pm
 
  Pluto rises at 4:03pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be at first quarter phase two days. It sets at 10:29pm 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' 38.3"
 Latitude: N41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Saturn       0.9     Vir     09:48   21:30
Uranus       5.7     Psc     20:44   08:58
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     19:22   06:05
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     16:03   01:54
Moon        -9.2     Lib     12:24   22:29

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:49   20:00
Mercury     -0.2     Leo     05:19   19:12
Venus       -3.9     Leo     07:12   20:17
Mars         1.4     Gem     02:33   17:38
Jupiter     -2.7     Ari     22:16   12:04

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:49am
     Transit: 1:25pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:00pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.00892589 AU = 150,933,165 km = 93,785,522 miles = 8.4 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.70 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:25pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:59pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:34pm ( 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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 12:24pm
     Transit: 5:30pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:29pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  31.13% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00245325 AU = 367,001 km = 228,044 miles = 1.23 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -9.2
     Apparent size: 32.55 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 67.70 (evening sky)
     Age: 4d 21h 50m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Sunday Aug 28, 2011 at 11:04pm
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Sunday Sep 4, 2011 at 1:39pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm the Moon will be 12.4 above the southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:19am
     Transit: 12:16pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:12pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  43.79% illuminated
     Distance: .91968458 AU = 137,582,855 km = 85,490,024 miles = 7.66 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.2
     Apparent size: 7.31 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 18.11 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Saturday, September 3, 2011 (18 06' 39")
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
     On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Mercury will be 18.5 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 7:12am
     Transit: 1:45pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:17pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  99.62% illuminated
     Distance: 1.71923923 AU = 257,194,528 km = 159,813,272 miles = 14.32 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 9.71 arcseconds in ngular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 5.01 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Venus will be 8.8 below the west horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:33am
     Transit: 10:06am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:38pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  93.24% illuminated
     Distance: 1.98124398 AU = 296,389,880 km = 184,168,135 miles = 16.5 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.4
     Apparent size: 4.72 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 50.21 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Mars will be 24.3 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: 10:16pm
     Transit: 5:10am - Sep 3 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:04pm - Sep 3
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.22% illuminated
     Distance: 4.37644655 AU = 654,707,085 km = 406,816,127 miles = 36.45 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.7
     Apparent size: 45.05 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 119.88 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Jupiter will be 14.2 below the northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at  3:49am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 168.8
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io shadow transit begins on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 2:32am when Jupiter is 45.8 above the horizon
          Io transit begins on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 3:45am when Jupiter is 56.7 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 4:42am when Jupiter is 61.7 above the horizon
          Io transit ends on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 5:53am when Jupiter is 60.9 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 9:48am
     Transit: 3:39pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:30pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.91% illuminated
     Distance: 10.46392294 AU = 1,565,380,591 km = 972,682,416 miles = 1.45 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 15.88 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 35.25 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Saturn will be 4.8 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 8:44pm
     Transit: 2:51am - Sep 3 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:58am - Sep 3
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.15032869 AU = 2,864,848,395 km = 1,780,134,285 miles = 2.66 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 156.74 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Uranus will be 1.7 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 7:22pm
     Transit: 0:43am - Sep 3 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:05am - Sep 3
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.01530779 AU = 4,340,628,262 km = 2,697,141,392 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 168.99 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Neptune will be 15.5 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 4:03pm
     Transit: 8:59pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:54am - Sep 3
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.65424493 AU = 4,735,407,639 km = 2,942,445,927 miles = 4.39 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 114.64 (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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Pluto will be 29.8 above the south-southeast horizon
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