Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  9:06pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:36pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 10:19pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 11:10pm

Moon Phase: 81.77% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
      Rise: 4:42pm
       Age: 10d 11h 16m 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 the Moon with us all night. Let's make the most of it and look at all the rich detail that's available on the Moon at this phase. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be tough under these conditions, but Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be visible until it sets at 2:02am. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting 55 minutes after midnight. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising over two hours 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 setting 1hr 31min after sunset and should be able to be seen tonight
    Venus rises 1hr 43min before sunrise and is a beautiful thin waxing crescent
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible after sunset and sets at 0:55am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 2hrs 12min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 2:02am tomorrow morning
    Uranus rises at 1:07am tomorrow morning and is visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 11:44pm and is visible this evening if you stay extremely late
 
  Pluto rises at 8:31pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is an 82% illuminated waxing gibbous setting at 2:54am tomorrow morning

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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mercury      0.4     Cnc     07:59   22:38
Mars         0.9     Vir     12:36   00:55
Saturn       0.7     Vir     14:38   02:02
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     20:32   06:20
Moon       -11.5     Lib     16:42   02:54

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Gem     05:53   21:06
Venus       -4.6     Tau     04:09   18:29
Jupiter     -2.0     Tau     03:41   18:23
Uranus       5.8     Cet     01:08   13:37
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     23:45   10:37

Sun data:
     Rise: 5:53am
     Transit: 1:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:06pm
     Constellation: Gemini
      RA: 6h 37m 55.035s
     DEC: +23 08' 53.15"
     Distance: 1.01664215 AU = 152,087,501 km = 94,502,793 miles = 8.47 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.46 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:36pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 10:19pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 11:10pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Summer began at the Summer Solstice which occurred on Wednesday Jun 20, 2012 at 7:09pm
     Fall begins at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 10:49am

     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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm the Sun will be 12 below the northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 4:42pm
     Transit: 9:51pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:54am - Jun 30
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  81.77% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00241407 AU = 361,139 km = 224,401 miles = 1.21 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.5
     Apparent size: 33.08 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 129.34 (evening sky)
     Age: 10d 11h 16m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: First Quarter on Tuesday Jun 26, 2012 at 11:30pm
      Next Phase: Full Moon on Tuesday Jul 3, 2012 at 2:52pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm the Moon will be 29 above the south horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:59am
     Transit: 3:19pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:38pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  42.21% illuminated
     Distance: .8464054 AU = 126,620,445 km = 78,678,298 miles = 7.05 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.4
     Apparent size: 7.95 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 25.72 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Mercury will be 2 above the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 4:09am
     Transit: 11:19am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:29pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  15.64% illuminated
     Distance: .36798633 AU = 55,049,971 km = 34,206,467 miles = 3.07 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.6
     Apparent size: 45.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 31.35 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Venus will be 29.7 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 12:36pm
     Transit: 6:46pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:55am - Jun 30
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  88.75% illuminated
     Distance: 1.41089647 AU = 211,067,107 km = 131,151,022 miles = 11.75 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 6.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 79.50 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Mars will be 27.5 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: 3:41am
     Transit: 11:02am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:23pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.67% illuminated
     Distance: 5.81348543 AU = 869,685,042 km = 540,397,238 miles = 48.42 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.0
     Apparent size: 33.91 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 34.65 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Jupiter will be 27.9 below the north-northwest horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 10:29pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 176.1
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 2:38pm
     Transit: 8:20pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:02am - Jun 30
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.74% illuminated
     Distance: 9.44600923 AU = 1,413,102,868 km = 878,061,425 miles = 1.31 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 17.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 104.05 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Saturn will be 35 above the south-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 1:08am - Jun 30
     Transit: 7:22am - Jun 30 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:37pm - Jun 30
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 20.03756771 AU = 2,997,577,463 km = 1,862,608,305 miles = 2.78 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.52 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 90.25 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Uranus will be 30.7 below the northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 11:45pm
     Transit: 5:11am - Jun 30 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:37am - Jun 30
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.39152733 AU = 4,396,909,905 km = 2,732,113,184 miles = 4.08 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 125.73 (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 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Neptune will be 17.1 below the east-northeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 8:32pm
     Transit: 1:26am - Jun 30 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:20am - Jun 30
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 31.24070417 AU = 4,673,542,822 km = 2,904,004,912 miles = 4.34 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 176.12 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03am
            Next: Monday Jul 1, 2013 at 8:06pm
     On 6/29/2012 at 10:19:06pm Pluto will be 15.5 above the east-southeast horizon
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