Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:37pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:05pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:43pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:26pm

Moon Phase: 58.63% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 1:44am - May 12
       Age: 20d 18h 28m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight we'll be moonless with a 59% illuminated waning gibbous Moon which doesn't rise until 1:44am tomorrow morning. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking. Saturn, with its beautiful rings will be visible all night, as will Mars. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it sets at 8:39pm this evening and is actually moving behind the Sun. Uranus and Neptune rise extremely late and won't be available to us. 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.

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 36 minutes before sunrise and is completely lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus is now setting 3 hours after sunset and is a beautiful waning crescent
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible after sunset and sets at 3:27am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter isn't visible at all now and is nearly behind the Sun from Earth's point of view
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 5:19am tomorrow morning
    Uranus rises at 4:20 am and won't be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 2:57am and won't be visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 11:48pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be an 59% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 1:44am
    Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) is now difficult to see at magnitude 9.8 in the constellation Lynx

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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Venus       -4.7     Tau     07:42   23:33
Mars         0.2     Leo     14:04   03:27
Saturn       0.4     Vir     17:57   05:19

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Ari     06:08   20:37
Mercury     -0.7     Ari     05:32   19:05
Jupiter     -2.0     Ari     06:18   20:39
Uranus       5.9     Psc     04:21   16:46
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     02:57   13:50
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     23:48   09:38
Moon       -10.5     Aqr     01:44   12:52

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:08am
     Transit: 1:22pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:37pm
     Constellation: Aries
      RA: 3h 17m 17.360s
     DEC: +18 11' 50.84"
     Distance: 1.0102457 AU = 151,130,606 km = 93,908,206 miles = 8.41 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.66 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:05pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:43pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:26pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Spring began at the Vernal Equinox which occurred on Tuesday Mar 20, 2012 at 1:15am
     Summer begins at the Summer Solstice which will occur on Wednesday Jun 20, 2012 at 7:09pm

     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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 1:44am - May 12
     Transit: 7:14am - May 12 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:52pm - May 12
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  58.63% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00258484 AU = 386,687 km = 240,276 miles = 1.29 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -10.5
     Apparent size: 30.89 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 99.80 (morning sky)
     Age: 20d 18h 28m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Saturday May 5, 2012 at 11:35pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Saturday May 12, 2012 at 5:47pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm the Moon will be 44.3 below the northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:32am
     Transit: 12:17pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:05pm
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  81.49% illuminated
     Distance: 1.20381927 AU = 180,088,800 km = 111,901,994 miles = 10.03 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.7
     Apparent size: 5.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 16.79 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Sunday, July 1, 2012 (25 44' 36")
          Morning: Thursday, August 16, 2012 (18 41' 31")
     Conjunctions of Mercury...
            Prior: Inferior Conjunction on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 at 6:18:08pm
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 5:58:49am
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:06:27pm
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Mercury will be 26.5 below the northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 7:42am
     Transit: 3:37pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:33pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  16.71% illuminated
     Distance: .3730082 AU = 55,801,232 km = 34,673,278 miles = 3.11 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.7
     Apparent size: 44.73 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 32.26 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
          Evening: Friday, November 1, 2013 (47 04' 26")
     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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Venus will be 16.6 above the west horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 2:04pm
     Transit: 8:46pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:27am - May 12
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  90.17% illuminated
     Distance: 1.02899491 AU = 153,935,447 km = 95,651,053 miles = 8.57 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.2
     Apparent size: 9.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 106.13 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Mars is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Saturday Mar 3, 2012 at 3:52pm.  Distance: 100,839,728 km.  Size: 13.88 arcseconds.
            Next: Tuesday Apr 8, 2014 at 6:03pm.  Distance: 92,875,374 km.  Size: 15.07 arcseconds.
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Mars will be 56.5 above the south-southwest 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: 6:18am
     Transit: 1:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:39pm
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 6.00872154 AU = 898,891,948 km = 558,545,568 miles = 50.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.0
     Apparent size: 32.81 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 1.35 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Oct 28, 2011 at 9:37pm
            Next: Sunday Dec 2, 2012 at 8:41pm
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Jupiter will be 11.6 below the west-northwest horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday May 12, 2012 at  2:40am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 174.9
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None

Saturn data:
     Rise: 5:57pm
     Transit: 11:38pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:19am - May 12
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 8.82283139 AU = 1,319,876,790 km = 820,133,425 miles = 1.22 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.4
     Apparent size: 18.84 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 152.40 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Sunday Apr 15, 2012 at 2:19pm
            Next: Sunday Apr 28, 2013 at 4:20am
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Saturn will be 35.2 above the southeast horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 4:21am
     Transit: 10:34am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:46pm
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.97% illuminated
     Distance: 20.77582139 AU = 3,108,018,641 km = 1,931,233,273 miles = 2.88 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.9
     Apparent size: 3.39 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 44.69 (morning 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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Uranus will be 45.3 below the north-northwest horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 2:57am - May 12
     Transit: 8:24am - May 12 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:50pm - May 12
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.97% illuminated
     Distance: 30.1789359 AU = 4,514,704,550 km = 2,805,307,384 miles = 4.19 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.26 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 78.75 (morning 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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Neptune will be 55.2 below the north-northeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 11:48pm
     Transit: 4:43am - May 12 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:38am - May 12
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 31.5388674 AU = 4,718,147,407 km = 2,931,720,916 miles = 4.38 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 132.31 (morning 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 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Pluto will be 23.8 below the east horizon

Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 10:30am
     Transit: 6:56pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:22am - May 12
     Constellation: Lynx/Cancer boarder
      RA: 8h 50m 49.248s
     DEC: +33 02' 42.69"
     Phase:  95.74% illuminated
     Distance: 2.47339621 AU = 370,014,806 km = 229,916,544 miles = 20.6 light-minutes
     Magnitude:  9.8
     Elongation from Sun: 74.81 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 1.007'/hour at position angle 174.8
        Motion is -0.04/day in RA, -0.40/day in DEC
     On 5/11/2012 at 9:43:24pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 55.9 above the west horizon
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