Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset: 6:39pm
       Civil twilight ends: 7:04pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 7:36pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 8:08pm

Moon Phase: 30.70% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 1:25am
       Age: 24d 12h 28m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight we're Moon-free until it rises at 1:25am tomorrow morning. The DSOs (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be easy for us the entire night. Jupiter will be visible by 8:20pm after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field. We'll have an opportunity to see Jupiter's closest moon, Io, appear from behind Jupiter at 9:04pm tonight and a GRS (Great Red Spot) transit the planet at 11:10pm. 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 32 minutes after sunset and will soon be visible in the west after sunset
    Venus is now setting 46 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 1:48am and is now half way between Regulus and M44
    Jupiter is an easy object all night now. It rises at 6:53pm
    Saturn is no longer visible since it sets 8 minutes before the Sun
    Uranus rises at 5:27pm
    Neptune rises at 4:07pm
 
  Pluto rises at 12:52pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be a 30% waning crescent rising at 1:25am. It won't interfere with seeing the dim objects 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 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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Jupiter     -2.9     Ari     18:53   08:30
Uranus       5.7     Psc     17:27   05:36
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     16:07   02:47
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     12:52   22:42

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:40   18:39
Mercury     -0.4     Lib     09:00   19:11
Venus       -3.9     Lib     09:11   19:25
Mars         1.2     Leo     01:48   16:00
Saturn       0.7     Vir     07:04   18:31
Moon        -9.2     Leo     01:25   15:25

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:40am
     Transit: 1:10pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:39pm
     Constellation: Virgo
      RA: 13h 44m 51.155s
     DEC: -10 50' 33.10"
     Distance: .99542231 AU = 148,913,058 km = 92,530,286 miles = 8.29 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.13 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:04pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:36pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:08pm ( 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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-southwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 1:25am
     Transit: 8:31am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:25pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  30.70% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.00252246 AU = 377,354 km = 234,477 miles = 1.26 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -9.2
     Apparent size: 31.66 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 67.16 (morning sky)
     Age: 24d 12h 28m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Wednesday Oct 19, 2011 at 11:30pm
      Next Phase: New Moon on Wednesday Oct 26, 2011 at 3:56pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm the Moon will be 36.6 below the northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 9:00am
     Transit: 2:06pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:11pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  91.69% illuminated
     Distance: 1.35060209 AU = 202,047,197 km = 125,546,309 miles = 11.25 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.4
     Apparent size: 4.98 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 15.00 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Mercury will be 5.5 below the west-southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 9:11am
     Transit: 2:18pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:25pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  95.48% illuminated
     Distance: 1.60881091 AU = 240,674,686 km = 149,548,318 miles = 13.4 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -3.9
     Apparent size: 10.37 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 17.62 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Venus will be 3 below the west-southwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 1:48am
     Transit: 8:54am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:00pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  90.73% illuminated
     Distance: 1.66203791 AU = 248,637,333 km = 154,496,078 miles = 13.84 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 5.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 68.96 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Mars will be 29.7 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: 6:53pm
     Transit: 1:42am - Oct 22 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:30am - Oct 22
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 3.97495703 AU = 594,645,108 km = 369,495,344 miles = 33.11 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.9
     Apparent size: 49.60 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 171.85 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Jupiter will be 6.7 above the east-northeast horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Oct 21, 2011 at 11:10pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 170.0
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io occultation ends on Friday Oct 21, 2011 at 9:04pm when Jupiter is 23.2 above the horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 7:04am
     Transit: 12:48pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:31pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.65809786 AU = 1,594,428,745 km = 990,732,103 miles = 1.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 7.40 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Saturn will be 13.3 below the west horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 5:27pm
     Transit: 11:31pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:36am - Oct 22
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.18468087 AU = 2,869,987,408 km = 1,783,327,520 miles = 2.66 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 153.34 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Uranus will be 22.7 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 4:07pm
     Transit: 9:27pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:47am - Oct 22
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.49453498 AU = 4,412,319,630 km = 2,741,688,343 miles = 4.09 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 120.01 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Neptune will be 30.4 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 12:52pm
     Transit: 5:47pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:42pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.49000208 AU = 4,860,435,130 km = 3,020,134,409 miles = 4.51 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 67.05 (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 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Pluto will be 24.5 above the south-southwest horizon

Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 9:55am
     Transit: 5:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:24am - Oct 22
     Constellation: Hercules
      RA: 17h 43m 50.429s
     DEC: +18 44' 13.15"
     Phase:  92.92% illuminated
     Distance: 1.92677228 AU = 288,241,030 km = 179,104,675 miles = 16.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude:  7.9
     Elongation from Sun: 65.91 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 27.281"/hour at position angle 266.1
        Motion is 0.18/day in RA, -0.01/day in DEC
     On 10/21/2011 at 7:36:23pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 51.5 above the southwest horizon
Web hosting generously provided by