Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  9:05pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:34pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 10:17pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 11:06pm

Moon Phase: 86.02% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 10:43pm
       Age: 17d 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 after if rises at 10:43pm. 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 1:35am. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting 35 minutes after midnight. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising 2hrs 38min 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 15min after sunset and should be able to be seen tonight
    Venus rises 2hrs 8min 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 0:35am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 2hrs 38min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 1:35am tomorrow morning
    Uranus rises 40 minutes after midnight and is visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 11:17pm and is visible this evening if you stay extremely late
 
  Pluto rises at 8:03pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is an 86% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 10:43pm tonight

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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         0.9     Vir     12:27   00:35
Saturn       0.7     Vir     14:11   01:35
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     20:03   05:52

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Gem     05:56   21:05
Mercury      0.8     Cnc     08:06   22:20
Venus       -4.7     Tau     03:48   18:07
Jupiter     -2.1     Tau     03:18   18:03
Uranus       5.8     Cet     00:40   13:09
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     23:17   10:09
Moon       -11.5     Aqr     22:43   10:30
Mercury rises 2hrs 9min after sunrise	 Mercury sets 1hr 15min after sunset
Venus rises 2hrs 8min before sunrise	 Venus sets 2hrs 57min before sunset
Mars rises 6hrs 31min after sunrise	 Mars sets 3hrs 31min after sunset
Jupiter rises 2hrs 38min before sunrise	 Jupiter sets 3hrs 2min before sunset
Saturn rises 8hrs 14min after sunrise	 Saturn sets 4hrs 30min after sunset
Uranus rises 5hrs 16min before sunrise	 Uranus sets 7hrs 55min before sunset
Neptune rises 17hrs 20min after sunrise	 Neptune sets 13hrs 5min after sunset
Pluto rises 14hrs 7min after sunrise	 Pluto sets 8hrs 47min after sunset
Luna rises 16hrs 47min after sunrise	 Luna sets 13hrs 25min after sunset
Sun data:
     Rise: 5:56am
     Transit: 1:31pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:05pm
     Constellation: Gemini
      RA: 7h 06m 45.298s
     DEC: +22 32' 52.29"
     Distance: 1.01667744 AU = 152,092,780 km = 94,506,073 miles = 8.47 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.46 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: 11:06pm ( 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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm the Sun will be 12 below the northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 10:43pm
     Transit: 4:32am - Jul 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:30am - Jul 7
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  86.02% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.0025524 AU = 381,834 km = 237,261 miles = 1.28 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.5
     Apparent size: 31.28 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 135.99 (morning sky)
     Age: 17d 11h 16m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Tuesday Jul 3, 2012 at 2:52pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Tuesday Jul 10, 2012 at 9:48pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm the Moon will be 6.3 below the east horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 8:06am
     Transit: 3:13pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:20pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  30.21% illuminated
     Distance: .74017783 AU = 110,729,027 km = 68,803,828 miles = 6.17 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 9.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 24.73 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Thursday, August 16, 2012 (18 41' 31")
          Evening: Friday, October 26, 2012 (24 04' 52")
     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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Mercury will be 0.6 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:48am
     Transit: 10:58am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:07pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  22.17% illuminated
     Distance: .4117638 AU = 61,598,988 km = 38,275,837 miles = 3.43 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.7
     Apparent size: 40.52 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 36.51 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Venus will be 30.7 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 12:27pm
     Transit: 6:32pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:35am - Jul 7
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  88.90% illuminated
     Distance: 1.46124244 AU = 218,598,757 km = 135,830,972 miles = 12.17 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.9
     Apparent size: 6.40 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 76.51 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Mars will be 24.3 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: 3:18am
     Transit: 10:40am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:03pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.58% illuminated
     Distance: 5.75040502 AU = 860,248,346 km = 534,533,547 miles = 47.9 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.1
     Apparent size: 34.28 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 39.85 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Jupiter will be 28.1 below the north-northwest horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Friday Jul 06, 2012 at 11:18pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 176.3
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 2:11pm
     Transit: 7:53pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:35am - Jul 7
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.73% illuminated
     Distance: 9.5600896 AU = 1,430,169,048 km = 888,665,858 miles = 1.33 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 17.38 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 97.48 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Saturn will be 31.9 above the south-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 0:40am - Jul 7
     Transit: 6:55am - Jul 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:09pm - Jul 7
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 19.92049395 AU = 2,980,063,478 km = 1,851,725,619 miles = 2.77 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.54 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 96.86 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Uranus will be 26.8 below the northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 11:17pm
     Transit: 4:43am - Jul 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:09am - Jul 7
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.30010066 AU = 4,383,232,670 km = 2,723,614,544 miles = 4.07 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 132.50 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Neptune will be 12.4 below the east horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 8:03pm
     Transit: 0:58am - Jul 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:52am - Jul 7
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 31.25255814 AU = 4,675,316,151 km = 2,905,106,807 miles = 4.34 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 171.74 (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 7/6/2012 at 10:16:39pm Pluto will be 18.8 above the southeast horizon
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