Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:50pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:18pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:57pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:41pm

Moon Phase: 69.28% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
      Rise: 3:39pm
       Age: 8d 21h 36m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight will be a great night to see all kinds of features on our nearest celestial neighbor, the Moon. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will have to take a back seat to the bright skies caused by the gibbous Moon, but some will still be visible. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be a great target until it sets 13 minutes after midnight. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 11:38pm. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising 4hrs 7min 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 sets 22min before sunset and is now completely invisible lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 5min 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 tonight and sets 2hrs 48min after sunset at 11:38pm tonight
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising 4hrs 7min before sunrise at 2:06am
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets 3hrs 23min after sunset at 13 minutes after midnight
    Uranus rises at 11:17pm and will be visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 9:53pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 6:39pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 69% illuminated waxing gibbous setting at 1:38am

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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.1     Vir     12:05   23:38
Saturn       0.8     Vir     12:52   00:14
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     18:39   04:27
Moon       -11.0     Lib     15:39   01:39

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Cnc     06:14   20:50
Mercury      5.3     Cnc     06:41   20:29
Venus       -4.6     Tau     03:09   17:40
Jupiter     -2.1     Tau     02:07   16:57
Uranus       5.8     Cet     23:18   11:46
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     21:53   08:44
Mercury rises 28min after sunrise	Mercury sets 22min before sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 5min before sunrise	Venus sets 3hrs 10min before sunset
Mars rises 5hrs 51min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 48min after sunset
Jupiter rises 4hrs 7min before sunrise	Jupiter sets 3hrs 54min before sunset
Saturn rises 6hrs 38min after sunrise	Saturn sets 3hrs 23min after sunset
Uranus rises 17hrs 4min after sunrise	Uranus sets 14hrs 56min after sunset
Neptune rises 15hrs 40min after sunrise	Neptune sets 11hrs 54min after sunset
Pluto rises 12hrs 26min after sunrise	Pluto sets 7hrs 36min after sunset
Luna rises 9hrs 26min after sunrise	Luna sets 4hrs 48min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:14am
     Transit: 1:32pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:50pm
     Constellation: Cancer
      RA: 8h 31m 04.811s
     DEC: +18 54' 44.98"
     Distance: 1.01541618 AU = 151,904,099 km = 94,388,832 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.50 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:18pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:57pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:41pm ( 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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 3:39pm
     Transit: 8:41pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:39am - Jul 28
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  69.28% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00244151 AU = 365,245 km = 226,953 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -11.0
     Apparent size: 32.71 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 112.55 (evening sky)
     Age: 8d 21h 36m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: First Quarter on Thursday Jul 26, 2012 at 4:56am
      Next Phase: Full Moon on Wednesday Aug 1, 2012 at 11:27pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm the Moon will be 25.4 above the south horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:41am
     Transit: 1:35pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:29pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  1.11% illuminated
     Distance: .58866153 AU = 88,062,512 km = 54,719,509 miles = 4.9 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 5.3
     Apparent size: 11.43 arcseconds in  angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 5.13 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Mercury will be 16 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:09am
     Transit: 10:25am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:40pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  38.90% illuminated
     Distance: .56482331 AU = 84,496,364 km = 52,503,607 miles = 4.7 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.6
     Apparent size: 29.54 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 44.33 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Venus will be 29.7 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 12:05pm
     Transit: 5:52pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:38pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  89.64% illuminated
     Distance: 1.60274271 AU = 239,766,897 km = 148,984,245 miles = 13.35 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.1
     Apparent size: 5.84 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 68.29 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Mars will be 17.2 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: 2:07am - Jul 28
     Transit: 9:32am - Jul 28 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:57pm - Jul 28
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.29% illuminated
     Distance: 5.5172872 AU = 825,374,417 km = 512,863,892 miles = 45.96 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.1
     Apparent size: 35.73 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 55.83 (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 28, 2012 at  1:43am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 176.8
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight
     On 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Jupiter will be 27.4 below the north horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 12:52pm
     Transit: 6:33pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:14am - Jul 28
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.74% illuminated
     Distance: 9.90682412 AU = 1,482,039,793 km = 920,896,845 miles = 1.38 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 16.78 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 78.23 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Saturn will be 22.8 above the southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 11:18pm
     Transit: 5:32am - Jul 28 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:46am - Jul 28
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.95% illuminated
     Distance: 19.58546507 AU = 2,929,943,871 km = 1,820,582,739 miles = 2.72 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.60 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 116.96 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Uranus will be 16 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 9:53pm
     Transit: 3:19am - Jul 28 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:44am - Jul 28
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.08778072 AU = 4,351,470,058 km = 2,703,878,172 miles = 4.04 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 152.95 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Neptune will be 0.4 below the east horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 6:39pm
     Transit: 11:33pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:27am - Jul 28
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 31.37140755 AU = 4,693,095,770 km = 2,916,154,550 miles = 4.36 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 151.92 (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 7/27/2012 at 9:57:21pm Pluto will be 25.4 above the southeast horizon
Web hosting generously provided by