Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 7:01pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:26pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 7:58pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:30pm

Moon Phase: 85.41% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
      Rise: 4:38pm
       Age: 10d 12h 43m 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 85% illuminated waxing gibbous Moon with us until it sets at 4:16am tomorrow morning. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be difficult the entire night. Jupiter will be visible by 9:30pm after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field. There won't be any Jovian moon activity, but the GRS transits the planet at 9:40pm and should be easy to see. Uranus and Neptune are up, but rather unimpressive being so far away. 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 setting 16 minutes after sunset and is completely lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus is now setting 36 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 2:02am and is now 4 east of the M44 - the Beehive Cluster
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 7:53pm
    Saturn is no longer visible since it sets 21 minutes after the Sun
    Uranus rises at 6:23pm
    Neptune rises at 5:02pm
 
  Pluto rises at 1:46pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be an 85% illuminated waxing gibbous rising at 4:38pm
    Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) is now easily visible at magnitude 8.0 in the constellation Hercules

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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:23   06:34
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     17:02   03:43
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     13:46   23:36
Moon       -11.5     Aqr     16:38   04:16

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:25   19:01
Mercury     -0.9     Vir     07:58   19:17
Venus       -3.9     Vir     08:36   19:37
Mars         1.3     Cnc     02:02   16:32
Jupiter     -2.9     Ari     19:53   09:34
Saturn       0.7     Vir     07:50   19:22
Sun data:
     Rise: 7:25am
     Transit: 1:13pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:01pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: .99936073 AU = 149,502,238 km = 92,896,385 miles = 8.32 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.01 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:26pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:58pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:30pm ( 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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 4:38pm
     Transit: 10:23pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:16am - Oct 8
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  85.41% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
     Distance: 0.0026497 AU = 396,389 km = 246,305 miles = 1.32 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.5
     Apparent size: 30.14 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 134.99 (evening sky)
     Age: 10d 12h 43m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: First Quarter on Monday Oct 3, 2011 at 11:15pm
      Next Phase: Full Moon on Tuesday Oct 11, 2011 at 10:06pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm the Moon will be 30.9 above the southeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:58am
     Transit: 1:38pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:17pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  98.16% illuminated
     Distance: 1.4150159 AU = 211,683,365 km = 131,533,947 miles = 11.79 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.9
     Apparent size: 4.75 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 6.78 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
          Morning: Friday, December 23, 2011 (21 50' 30")
     On 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Mercury will be 8.6 below the west-southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 8:36am
     Transit: 2:07pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:37pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  97.09% illuminated
     Distance: 1.65089292 AU = 246,970,066 km = 153,460,086 miles = 13.75 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 10.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 14.10 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     On 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Venus will be 4.9 below the west-southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:02am
     Transit: 9:17am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:32pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  91.37% illuminated
     Distance: 1.76537324 AU = 264,096,078 km = 164,101,697 miles = 14.7 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.3
     Apparent size: 5.30 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 63.06 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Mars will be 27.5 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: 7:53pm
     Transit: 2:43am - Oct 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:34am - Oct 8
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.84% illuminated
     Distance: 4.02902298 AU = 602,733,258 km = 374,521,088 miles = 33.56 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 48.93 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 156.34 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Jupiter will be 0.3 below the east-northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Oct 07, 2011 at 9:40pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 169.6
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 7:50am
     Transit: 1:36pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:22pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.66191586 AU = 1,594,999,910 km = 991,087,008 miles = 1.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 5.57 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Saturn will be 7.7 below the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:23pm
     Transit: 0:28am - Oct 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:34am - Oct 8
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.10228322 AU = 2,857,660,895 km = 1,775,668,180 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 167.70 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Uranus will be 16.5 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 5:02pm
     Transit: 10:23pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:43am - Oct 8
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.30175939 AU = 4,383,480,812 km = 2,723,768,732 miles = 4.07 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 134.05 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Neptune will be 26.6 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:46pm
     Transit: 6:41pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:36pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.25429407 AU = 4,825,173,714 km = 2,998,223,981 miles = 4.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 80.66 (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 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Pluto will be 27.1 above the south horizon

Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 11:03am - Oct 7
     Transit: 6:19pm - Oct 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:35am - Oct 8
     Constellation: Hercules
     RA: 17h 58m 35.287s
     DEC: N19 06' 17.98"
     Phase:  92.54% illuminated
     Distance: 1.77781091 AU = 265,956,727 km = 165,257,851 miles = 14.81 light-minutes
     Magnitude:  8.0
     Elongation from Sun: 79.14 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 48.568"/hour at position angle 263.1
        Motion is 0.32/day in RA, -0.04/day in DEC
     On 10/7/2011 at 7:57:33pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 59.6 above the southwest horizon
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