Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 7:12pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:37pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 8:09pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:41pm

Moon Phase: 17.53% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 11:18am
       Age: 3d 12h 57m 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 18% illuminated waxing crescent Moon with us until it sets at 9:11pm. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be available after that. Jupiter will be visible by 9:50pm after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field. 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, Bring your binoculars and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy!..

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 6 minutes after sunrise and is completely lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus is now setting 32 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 2:09am and will be in M44 - the Beehive Cluster!
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 8:22pm
    Saturn is no longer visible since it sets 36 minutes after the Sun
    Uranus rises at 6:51pm
    Neptune rises at 5:30pm
 
  Pluto rises at 2:14pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be a thin waxing crescent setting at 9:11pm - just 2 hours after the Sun

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: N 41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com 
ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:51   07:03
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     17:30   04:11
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     14:14   00:04
Moon        -8.4     Lib     11:18   21:11

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:18   19:12
Mercury     -1.4     Vir     07:24   19:20
Venus       -3.9     Vir     08:19   19:44
Mars         1.3     Cnc     02:09   16:47
Jupiter     -2.8     Ari     20:22   10:05
Saturn       0.8     Vir     08:14   19:48

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:18am
     Transit: 1:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:12pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: 1.00141188 AU = 149,809,085 km = 93,087,051 miles = 8.34 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.94 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:37pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:09pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:41pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Fall began at the Autumnal Equinox which occurred on Friday Sep 23, 2011 at 5:05am
     Winter begins at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Thursday Dec 22, 2011 at 12:31am

     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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 11:18am
     Transit: 4:17pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:11pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  17.53% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00243503 AU = 364,276 km = 226,351 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -8.4
     Apparent size: 32.79 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 49.40 (evening sky)
     Age: 3d 12h 57m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Tuesday Sep 27, 2011 at 7:09am
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Monday Oct 3, 2011 at 11:15pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm the Moon will be 8.1 above the southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:24am
     Transit: 1:23pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:20pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.80% illuminated
     Distance: 1.40599638 AU = 210,334,065 km = 130,695,530 miles = 11.71 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.4
     Apparent size: 4.78 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 2.07 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
          Morning: Friday, December 23, 2011 (21 50' 30")
     On 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Mercury will be 10.2 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 8:19am
     Transit: 2:02pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:44pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  97.77% illuminated
     Distance: 1.66901952 AU = 249,681,766 km = 155,145,059 miles = 13.9 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 10.00 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 12.31 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Venus will be 5.7 below the west-southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:09am
     Transit: 9:28am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:47pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  91.72% illuminated
     Distance: 1.81352926 AU = 271,300,116 km = 168,578,079 miles = 15.11 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.3
     Apparent size: 5.16 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 60.29 (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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Mars will be 26.6 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: 8:22pm
     Transit: 3:14am - Oct 1 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:05am - Oct 1
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.72% illuminated
     Distance: 4.07660186 AU = 609,850,958 km = 378,943,822 miles = 33.96 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.8
     Apparent size: 48.36 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 148.72 (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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Jupiter will be 3.5 below the east-northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Sep 30, 2011 at 8:55pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 169.5
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 8:14am
     Transit: 2:01pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:48pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 10.64552425 AU = 1,592,547,760 km = 989,563,313 miles = 1.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 15.61 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 11.36 (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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Saturn will be 5.1 below the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:51pm
     Transit: 0:57am - Oct 1 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:03am - Oct 1
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.08257237 AU = 2,854,712,193 km = 1,773,835,941 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 174.83 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Sunday Sep 25, 2011 at 8:07pm
            Next: Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 3:07am
     On 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Uranus will be 13.4 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 5:30pm
     Transit: 10:51pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:11am - Oct 1
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.21988783 AU = 4,371,233,001 km = 2,716,158,295 miles = 4.06 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 141.06 (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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Neptune will be 24.5 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 2:14pm
     Transit: 7:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:04am - Oct 1
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.13216635 AU = 4,806,903,666 km = 2,986,871,499 miles = 4.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 87.46 (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 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Pluto will be 28.1 above the south horizon
Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 11:40am
     Transit: 6:57pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:15am - Oct 1
     Constellation: Hercules
     RA: 18h 09m 29.833
     DEC: N19 23' 31.43"
     Phase:  92.69% illuminated
     Distance: 1.69671925 AU = 253,825,587 km = 157,719,910 miles = 14.13 light-minutes
     Magnitude:  8.0
     Elongation from Sun: 86.75 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 1.042'/hour at position angle 263.9
        Motion is 0.41/day in RA, -0.04/day in DEC
     On 9/30/2011 at 8:09:04pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 63.4 above the south-southwest horizon
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