Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:57pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:25pm
    Nautical twilight ends: 10:06pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:51pm

Moon Phase: 4.02% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 7:44am
       Age: 1d 21h 35m 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 dark skies with us all night since the Moon sets at 9:34pm this evening. Let's make the most of it and look at all the DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be visible until it sets 40 minutes after midnight. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting 4 minutes before midnight. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising 3hrs 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 16 minutes after sunset and will not be able to be seen tonight
    Venus rises 2hrs 49min 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 exactly 3 hours after sunset at 11:56pm tonight
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 3hrs 38min before sunrise at 2:29am
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets 3hrs 44min after sunset at 40 minutes after midnight
    Uranus rises at 11:45pm and will be visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 10:21pm and is visible this evening if you stay extremely late
 
  Pluto rises at 7:07pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 4% illuminated waxing crescent setting at 9:34pm this evening

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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com
ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.0     Vir     12:12   23:57
Saturn       0.8     Vir     13:18   00:41
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     19:07   04:55

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Cnc     06:07   20:57
Mercury      3.2     Cnc     07:28   21:12
Venus       -4.7     Tau     03:19   17:45
Jupiter     -2.1     Tau     02:30   17:18
Uranus       5.8     Cet     23:45   12:14
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     22:21   09:13
Moon        -5.7     Leo     07:44   21:34
Mercury rises 1hr 20min after sunrise	 Mercury sets 16min after sunset
Venus rises 2hrs 49min before sunrise	 Venus sets 3hrs 12min before sunset
Mars rises 6hrs 4min after sunrise	 Mars sets 3hrs 0min after sunset
Jupiter rises 3hrs 38min before sunrise	 Jupiter sets 3hrs 38min before sunset
Saturn rises 7hrs 10min after sunrise	 Saturn sets 3hrs 44min after sunset
Uranus rises 17hrs 38min after sunrise	 Uranus sets 15hrs 18min after sunset
Neptune rises 16hrs 14min after sunrise	 Neptune sets 12hrs 16min after sunset
Pluto rises 13hrs 0min after sunrise	 Pluto sets 7hrs 59min after sunset
Luna rises 1hr 37min after sunrise	 Luna sets 37min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:07am
     Transit: 1:32pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:57pm
     Constellation: Cancer
      RA: 8h 03m 25.099s
     DEC: +20 24' 35.66"
     Distance: 1.01610784 AU = 152,007,569 km = 94,453,126 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.48 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:25pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 10:06pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:51pm ( 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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 7:44am
     Transit: 2:44pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:34pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  4.02% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.002583 AU = 386,412 km = 240,105 miles = 1.29 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -5.7
     Apparent size: 30.91 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 23.08 (evening sky)
     Age: 1d 21h 35m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Thursday Jul 19, 2012 at 12:24am
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Thursday Jul 26, 2012 at 4:56am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm the Moon will be 7 below the west horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:28am
     Transit: 2:20pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:12pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  6.87% illuminated
     Distance: .59653243 AU = 89,239,981 km = 55,451,154 miles = 4.97 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 3.2
     Apparent size: 11.27 arcseconds in  angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 13.12 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Mercury will be 10.4 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:19am
     Transit: 10:31am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:45pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  33.85% illuminated
     Distance: .51161131 AU = 76,535,963 km = 47,557,243 miles = 4.26 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.7
     Apparent size: 32.61 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 42.70 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Venus will be 30.3 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 12:12pm
     Transit: 6:05pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:57pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  89.35% illuminated
     Distance: 1.55728404 AU = 232,966,376 km = 144,758,597 miles = 12.97 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.0
     Apparent size: 6.01 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 70.91 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Mars will be 19.2 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: 2:30am - Jul 21
     Transit: 9:54am - Jul 21 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:18pm - Jul 21
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.39% illuminated
     Distance: 5.60174896 AU = 838,009,717 km = 520,715,103 miles = 46.66 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.1
     Apparent size: 35.19 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 50.43 (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 Jul 21, 2012 at 0:55am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
         GRS longitude: 176.6
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight
     On 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Jupiter will be 27.8 below the north horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 1:18pm
     Transit: 6:59pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:41am - Jul 21
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.73% illuminated
     Distance: 9.79200299 AU = 1,464,862,797 km = 910,223,554 miles = 1.36 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 16.97 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 84.58 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Saturn will be 25.8 above the southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 11:45pm
     Transit: 6:00am - Jul 21 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:14pm - Jul 21
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 19.6928127 AU = 2,946,002,847 km = 1,830,561,324 miles = 2.73 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.58 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 110.22 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Uranus will be 19.4 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 10:21pm
     Transit: 3:47am - Jul 21 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:13am - Jul 21
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.14703984 AU = 4,360,335,097 km = 2,709,386,652 miles = 4.05 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 146.12 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Neptune will be 4 below the east horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 7:07pm
     Transit: 0:01am - Jul 21 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:55am - Jul 21
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 31.31829198 AU = 4,685,149,793 km = 2,911,217,149 miles = 4.35 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 158.67 (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 7/20/2012 at 10:05:33pm Pluto will be 23.7 above the southeast horizon
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