Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:44pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:13pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:52pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:37pm

Moon Phase: 3.45% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 4:31am
       Age: 27d 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 viewing without the Moon since it will be a tiny 3.5% illuminated waning crescent setting at 6:51pm this evening. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking. Venus is amazingly bright as a tiny thin crescent and headed for an extremely rare transit of the Sun on the afternoon of June 5th. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be visible all night. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising 5 minutes before sunrise. 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 a morning object now rising 25 minutes before sunrise and is lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus is now setting 2 hours and 18 minutes after sunset and is a beautiful thin waning crescent
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible after sunset and sets at 3:03am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 5 minutes before sunrise and totally lost in the glare of the Sun
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 4:50am tomorrow morning
    Uranus rises at 3:54am tomorrow morning and won't be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 2:29am tomorrow morning and won't be visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 11:20pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon will be an 3.5% illuminated tiny waning crescent setting at 6:51pm
    Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) is now very difficult to see at magnitude 10.1 in the constellation Cancer

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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Venus       -4.5     Tau     07:18   23:02
Mars         0.3     Leo     13:48   03:04
Saturn       0.4     Vir     17:28   04:51

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Tau     06:01   20:44
Mercury     -1.3     Ari     05:36   19:49
Jupiter     -2.0     Tau     05:55   20:20
Uranus       5.9     Cet     03:54   16:20
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     02:30   13:23
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     23:20   09:10
Moon        -5.3     Ari     04:31   18:51

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:01am
     Transit: 1:22pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:44pm
     Constellation: Taurus
      RA: 3h 45m 02.291s
     DEC: +19 49' 18.05"
     Distance: 1.01177907 AU = 151,359,995 km = 94,050,742 miles = 8.43 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.62 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:13pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:52pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:37pm ( 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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 4:31am
     Transit: 11:37am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:51pm
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  3.45% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.00273484 AU = 409,126 km = 254,219 miles = 1.37 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -5.3
     Apparent size: 29.20 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 21.36 (morning sky)
     Age: 27d 18h 28m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Saturday May 12, 2012 at 5:47pm
      Next Phase: New Moon on Sunday May 20, 2012 at 7:47pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm the Moon will be 26.5 below the northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:36am
     Transit: 12:41pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:49pm
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  92.77% illuminated
     Distance: 1.2844402 AU = 192,149,519 km = 119,396,177 miles = 10.7 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.3
     Apparent size: 5.24 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 9.92 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Mercury will be 20.1 below the northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 7:18am
     Transit: 3:10pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:02pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  10.06% illuminated
     Distance: .33518186 AU = 50,142,493 km = 31,157,101 miles = 2.79 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.5
     Apparent size: 49.78 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 25.49 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Venus will be 9.9 above the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 1:48pm
     Transit: 8:26pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:04am - May 19
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  89.60% illuminated
     Distance: 1.08474538 AU = 162,275,599 km = 100,833,384 miles = 9.04 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.3
     Apparent size: 8.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 101.50 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Mars will be 52.7 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: 5:55am
     Transit: 1:08pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:20pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 6.00911254 AU = 898,950,440 km = 558,581,914 miles = 50.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.0
     Apparent size: 32.81 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 4.09 (morning 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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Jupiter will be 15.6 below the west-northwest horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday May 19, 2012 at  3:30am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 175.1
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         None visible tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 5:28pm
     Transit: 11:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:51am - May 19
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.91% illuminated
     Distance: 8.88282245 AU = 1,328,851,324 km = 825,709,942 miles = 1.23 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.4
     Apparent size: 18.71 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 145.26 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Saturn will be 38.9 above the southeast horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 3:54am
     Transit: 10:07am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:20pm
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 20.68907343 AU = 3,095,041,332 km = 1,923,169,547 miles = 2.87 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.9
     Apparent size: 3.41 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 51.14 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Uranus will be 46.4 below the north-northwest horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 2:30am - May 19
     Transit: 7:56am - May 19 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:23pm - May 19
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.97% illuminated
     Distance: 30.06164988 AU = 4,497,158,812 km = 2,794,404,968 miles = 4.17 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.27 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 85.43 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Neptune will be 50.7 below the northeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 11:20pm
     Transit: 4:15am - May 19 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:10am - May 19
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 31.45938653 AU = 4,706,257,238 km = 2,924,332,707 miles = 4.37 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 139.15 (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 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Pluto will be 16.9 below the east horizon

Garradd (C/2009 P1)
     Rise: 10:20am
     Transit: 6:30pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:41am - May 19
     Constellation: Cancer
      RA: 8h 52m 25.612s
     DEC: +30 23' 38.03"
     Phase:  96.23% illuminated
     Distance: 2.65339795 AU = 396,942,684 km = 246,648,752 miles = 22.1 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 10.1
     Elongation from Sun: 69.13 (evening sky)
     Apparent Motion
        Speed: 54.331"/hour at position angle 169.3
        Motion is -0.07/day in RA, -0.36/day in DEC
     On 5/18/2012 at 9:52:19pm Garradd (C/2009 P1) will be 48.1 above the west horizon
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