Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  9:03pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:34pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 10:17pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 11:09pm

Moon Phase: 11.18% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 3:04am
       Age: 26d 2h 24m 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 sets at 5:41pm this afternoon. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be visible until it sets at 2:57am. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 1:36am. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising an hour and twenty 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. Many 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 an evening object now setting 94 minutes after sunset and may be able to be seen tonight
    Venus rises 44 minutes before sunrise and is a beautiful thin waxing crescent but lost in the Sun's glare
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible after sunset and sets at 1:36am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 83 minutes before sunrise and lost in the glare of the Sun
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 2:57am tomorrow morning
    Uranus rises at 2:02am tomorrow morning and won't be visible this evening
    Neptune rises 40 minutes after midnight and won't be visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 9:27pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    MMoon is an 11% illuminated waning crescent setting at 5:41pm this afternoon

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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mercury     -0.4     Gem     07:11   22:37
Mars         0.7     Leo     12:56   01:36
Saturn       0.6     Vir     15:32   02:57
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     21:27   07:16

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Tau     05:48   21:03
Venus       -4.1     Tau     05:04   19:43
Jupiter     -2.0     Tau     04:25   19:02
Uranus       5.9     Cet     02:02   14:30
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     00:40   11:32
Moon        -7.4     Ari     03:04   17:41

Sun data:
     Rise: 5:48am
     Transit: 1:26pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:03pm
     Constellation: Taurus
      RA: 5h 39m 43.896s
     DEC: +23 21' 09.80"
     Distance: 1.01591151 AU = 151,978,199 km = 94,434,876 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.49 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:34pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 10:17pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 11:09pm ( 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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm the Sun will be 12 below the northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 3:04am
     Transit: 10:19am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:41pm
     Constellation: Aries
     Phase:  11.18% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.0027341 AU = 409,015 km = 254,150 miles = 1.37 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -7.4
     Apparent size: 29.21 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 38.98 (morning sky)
     Age: 26d 2h 24m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Monday Jun 11, 2012 at 6:41am
      Next Phase: New Moon on Tuesday Jun 19, 2012 at 11:02am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm the Moon will be 30.9 below the north-northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:11am
     Transit: 2:54pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:37pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  67.94% illuminated
     Distance: 1.08835278 AU = 162,815,259 km = 101,168,713 miles = 9.07 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.4
     Apparent size: 6.18 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 20.44 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Sunday, July 1, 2012 (25 44' 36")
          Morning: Thursday, August 16, 2012 (18 41' 31")
     Conjunctions of Mercury...
            Prior: Superior Conjunction on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 5:58:49am
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:06:27pm
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:14:14am
     On 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Mercury will be 2 above the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 5:04am
     Transit: 12:24pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:43pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  3.57% illuminated
     Distance: .30429884 AU = 45,522,458 km = 28,286,344 miles = 2.53 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.1
     Apparent size: 54.83 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 15.41 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45 48' 10")
          Evening: Friday, November 1, 2013 (47 04' 26")
     Conjunctions of Venus...
            Prior: Inferior Conjunction on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:32:09pm
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 8:37:10pm
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 9:34:31pm
     On 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Venus will be 22.5 below the northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 12:56pm
     Transit: 7:16pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:36am - Jun 16
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  88.65% illuminated
     Distance: 1.30586424 AU = 195,354,510 km = 121,387,666 miles = 10.88 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 7.16 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 85.97 (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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Mars will be 35.1 above the 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: 4:25am
     Transit: 11:44am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:02pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.82% illuminated
     Distance: 5.9149421 AU = 884,862,743 km = 549,828,224 miles = 49.27 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.0
     Apparent size: 33.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 24.37 (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
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot:
         Saturday Jun 16, 2012 at 6:47am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 175.8
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         None tonight
     On 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Jupiter will be 26.1 below the north-northwest horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 3:32pm
     Transit: 9:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:57am - Jun 16
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.79% illuminated
     Distance: 9.22897876 AU = 1,380,635,571 km = 857,887,182 miles = 1.28 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.6
     Apparent size: 18.01 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 117.45 (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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Saturn will be 40.3 above the south horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 2:02am - Jun 16
     Transit: 8:16am - Jun 16 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:30pm - Jun 16
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 20.27054871 AU = 3,032,430,924 km = 1,884,265,242 miles = 2.81 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.9
     Apparent size: 3.48 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 77.11 (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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Uranus will be 38.5 below the north-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 0:40am - Jun 16
     Transit: 6:06am - Jun 16 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:32am - Jun 16
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.59784234 AU = 4,427,774,191 km = 2,751,291,362 miles = 4.11 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.31 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 112.24 (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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Neptune will be 27.8 below the east-northeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 9:27pm
     Transit: 2:22am - Jun 16 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:16am - Jun 16
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 31.25967111 AU = 4,676,380,237 km = 2,905,768,000 miles = 4.34 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 166.21 (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 6/15/2012 at 10:17:23pm Pluto will be 7 above the east-southeast horizon
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