Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/14/2011 at 5:44:30pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 6:50pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:15pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 7:47pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:19pm

Moon Phase: 92.44% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 7:55pm
       Age: 17d 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 a 92% illuminated waning gibbous Moon with us until it sets at 11:06am tomorrow morning. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be difficult the entire night. Jupiter will be visible by 8:50pm 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 10:25pm 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 25 minutes after sunset and will soon be visible in the west after sunset
    Venus is now setting 41 minutes after sunset and will soon be visible in the west after sunset
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is a late night object now, rising at 1:55am and is now 8 east of the M44 - the Beehive Cluster
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 7:23pm
    Saturn is no longer visible since it sets 8 minutes after the Sun
    Uranus rises at 5:55pm
    Neptune rises at 4:35pm
 
  Pluto rises at 1:19pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be a 92% waning gibbous rising at 7:53pm. It will be our constant companion tonight
    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 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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Jupiter     -2.9     Ari     19:24   09:02
Uranus       5.7     Psc     17:55   06:05
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     16:35   03:16
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     13:20   23:10

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:33   18:50
Mercury     -0.6     Vir     08:30   19:15
Venus       -3.9     Vir     08:54   19:31
Mars         1.2     Cnc     01:57   16:16
Saturn       0.7     Vir     07:28   18:57
Moon       -11.8     Ari     19:55   11:05

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:33am
     Transit: 1:12pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:50pm
     Constellation: Virgo
      RA: 13h 18m 38.895s
     DEC: - 8 18' 03.87"
     Distance: .9973517 AU = 149,201,691 km = 92,709,634 miles = 8.31 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.07 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:15pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:47pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:19pm ( 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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-southwest horizon
Moon data:
     Rise: 7:55pm
     Transit: 3:27am - Oct 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:05am - Oct 15
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  92.44% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00270406 AU = 404,522 km = 251,358 miles = 1.35 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.8
     Apparent size: 29.53 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 148.00 (morning sky)
     Age: 17d 12h 43m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Tuesday Oct 11, 2011 at 10:06pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Wednesday Oct 19, 2011 at 11:30pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm the Moon will be 2.7 below the northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 8:30am
     Transit: 1:53pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:15pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  95.37% illuminated
     Distance: 1.39526608 AU = 208,728,834 km = 129,698,086 miles = 11.62 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.6
     Apparent size: 4.82 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 11.16 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Monday, November 14, 2011 (22 44' 52")
          Morning: Friday, December 23, 2011 (21 50' 30")
     Conjunctions of Mercury...
            Prior: Superior Conjunction on Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011 at 8:28:40pm
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Sunday, Dec 4, 2011 at 2:12:42am
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012 at 5:36:20am
     On 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Mercury will be 7 below the west-southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 8:54am
     Transit: 2:13pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:31pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  96.32% illuminated
     Distance: 1.63078286 AU = 243,961,643 km = 151,590,739 miles = 13.58 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 10.23 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 15.87 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
     Conjunctions of Venus...
            Prior: Superior Conjunction on Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 at 1:29:15am
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:32:09pm
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 8:37:10pm
     On 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Venus will be 3.9 below the west-southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 1:57am
     Transit: 9:07am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:16pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  91.04% illuminated
     Distance: 1.7148682 AU = 256,540,631 km = 159,406,960 miles = 14.28 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 5.46 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 65.95 (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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Mars will be 28.7 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: 7:24pm
     Transit: 2:13am - Oct 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:02am - Oct 15
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.92% illuminated
     Distance: 3.99486044 AU = 597,622,615 km = 371,345,481 miles = 33.27 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 49.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 164.07 (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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Jupiter will be 3 above the east-northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Oct 14, 2011 at 10:25pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 169.8
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 7:28am
     Transit: 1:12pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:57pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.66613684 AU = 1,595,631,360 km = 991,479,373 miles = 1.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.58 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 2.45 (morning 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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Saturn will be 10.4 below the west horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 5:55pm
     Transit: 0:00am - Oct 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:05am - Oct 15
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.13647536 AU = 2,862,775,966 km = 1,778,846,537 miles = 2.66 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 160.53 (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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Uranus will be 19.6 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 4:35pm
     Transit: 9:55pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:16am - Oct 15
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.39374307 AU = 4,397,241,375 km = 2,732,319,150 miles = 4.08 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 127.03 (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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Neptune will be 28.7 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:20pm
     Transit: 6:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:10pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.37409839 AU = 4,843,096,185 km = 3,009,360,488 miles = 4.49 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 73.86 (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 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Pluto will be 26.1 above the south-southwest horizon

Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 10:29am
     Transit: 5:44pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:58am - Oct 15
     Constellation: Hercules
     RA: 17h 50m 11.050s
     DEC: N18 52' 37.23"
     Phase:  92.64% illuminated
     Distance: 1.8554882 AU = 277,577,084 km = 172,478,406 miles = 15.46 light-minutes
     Magnitude:  7.9
     Elongation from Sun: 72.19 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 36.914"/hour at position angle 263.6
        Motion is 0.24/day in RA, -0.03/day in DEC
     On 10/14/2011 at 7:47:02pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 55.7 above the southwest horizon
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