Astronomical Observing from ACA Observatory
 Friday 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  7:36pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:02pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  8:34pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:07pm

Moon Phase: 81.57% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 9:17pm
       Age: 18d 21h 35m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight we'll have an 82% illuminated waning gibbous Moon with us after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 10:50pm. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be difficult in the glare of the Moon. However, Jupiter will be visible by 10:50pm 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 56 minutes before sunrise and is visible, with difficulty, in the east before sunrise
    Venus is now setting 24 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 2:21am
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 9:20pm
    Saturn is visible, with diffculty, in the evening until it sets at 8:39pm
    Uranus rises at 7:47pm
    Neptune rises at 6:26pm
 
  Pluto rises at 3:08pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be almost full rising at 9:16pm and with us until it sets at 12:16pm tomorrow 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 Akron, Ohio
Longitude: W 81 33' 38.9"
 Latitude: N40 58' 11.3"
 Altitude: 314m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Uranus       5.7     Psc     19:48   08:01
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     18:26   05:09
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     15:08   01:00

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     07:04   19:36
Mercury     -1.3     Leo     06:08   19:20
Venus       -3.9     Vir     07:46   20:01
Mars         1.4     Cnc     02:22   17:14
Jupiter     -2.8     Ari     21:21   11:06
Saturn       0.8     Vir     09:01   20:39
Moon       -11.2     Ari     21:17   12:15

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:04am
     Transit: 1:21pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:36pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.00529068 AU = 150,389,345 km = 93,447,608 miles = 8.37 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.82 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:02pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:34pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:07pm ( 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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 9:17pm
     Transit: 4:43am - Sep 17 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:15pm - Sep 17
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  81.57% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00271065 AU = 405,507 km = 251,970 miles = 1.35 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.2
     Apparent size: 29.46 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 129.04 (morning sky)
     Age: 18d 21h 35m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Monday Sep 12, 2011 at 5:27am
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 at 9:38am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm the Moon will be 8.3 below the northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:08am
     Transit: 12:44pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:20pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  91.73% illuminated
     Distance: 1.26392818 AU = 189,080,964 km = 117,489,465 miles = 10.53 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.3
     Apparent size: 5.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 10.41 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
          Morning: Friday, December 23, 2011 (21 50' 30")
     On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Mercury will be 14.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 7:46am
     Transit: 1:54pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:01pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  98.88% illuminated
     Distance: 1.69871695 AU = 254,124,438 km = 157,905,607 miles = 14.15 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 9.82 arcseconds in ngular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 8.68 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Venus will be 7.3 below the west horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:22am
     Transit: 9:48am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:14pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  92.47% illuminated
     Distance: 1.90240609 AU = 284,595,900 km = 176,839,696 miles = 15.85 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.4
     Apparent size: 4.92 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 55.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Mars will be 25.4 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: 9:21pm
     Transit: 4:14am - Sep 17 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:06am - Sep 17
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.46% illuminated
     Distance: 4.2075114 AU = 629,434,747 km = 391,112,624 miles = 35.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.8
     Apparent size: 46.86 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 133.94 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Jupiter will be 9.4 below the northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Sep 17, 2011 at  5:20am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 169.1
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 9:01am
     Transit: 2:50pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:39pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 10.57699515 AU = 1,582,295,953 km = 983,193,135 miles = 1.47 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 15.71 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 23.27 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Saturn will be 0 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 7:48pm
     Transit: 1:54am - Sep 17 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:01am - Sep 17
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.08757153 AU = 2,855,460,057 km = 1,774,300,642 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 170.83 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Uranus will be 7.5 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 6:26pm
     Transit: 11:48pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:09am - Sep 17
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.09132019 AU = 4,351,999,556 km = 2,704,207,187 miles = 4.04 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 155.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Neptune will be 20.3 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 3:08pm
     Transit: 8:04pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:00am - Sep 17
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.88771116 AU = 4,770,333,691 km = 2,964,147,970 miles = 4.43 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 101.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Pluto will be 29.5 above the south horizon
Web hosting generously provided by