Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:43pm
       Civil twilight ends:  9:10pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:48pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:29pm

Moon Phase: 95.24% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 9:12pm
       Age: 15d 21h 21m 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 3hrs 4min after sunset at 11:47pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 11:20pm. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a late-night object now rising at 1:44am. Neptune rises at 9:25pm but doesn't clear the trees to the east of the observing field until 11:00pm. Uranus doesn't rise until 10:50pm and won't be visible until 12:15am. 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, although not at their best, regardless of the bright Moon.

How about the planets...which ones can we see tonight? 

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it IS night time after all ;^)
    Mercury now sets 52min before sunset and is completely lost in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 18min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright thin waxing crescent
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 11:20pm tonight, 2hrs 37min after sunset
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising at 1:44am, 4hrs 37min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 11:47pm, 3hrs 4min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 10:50pm and will be visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 9:25pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 6:11pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 95% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 9:12pm and setting at 9:16am 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' 38.3"
 Latitude: N41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.1     Vir     11:59   23:20
Saturn       0.8     Vir     12:26   23:47
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     21:25   08:16
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     18:11   03:59
Moon       -12.1     Aqr     21:12   09:16

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Cnc     06:20   20:43
Mercury      3.3     Cnc     05:50   19:51
Venus       -4.5     Tau     03:03   17:39
Jupiter     -2.2     Tau     01:44   16:35
Uranus       5.8     Cet     22:50   11:18
Mercury rises 31min before sunrise	 Mercury sets 52min before sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 18min before sunrise	 Venus sets 3hrs 3min before sunset
Mars rises 5hrs 38min after sunrise	 Mars sets 2hrs 37min after sunset
Jupiter rises 4hrs 37min before sunrise	 Jupiter sets 4hrs 7min before sunset
Saturn rises 6hrs 6min after sunrise	 Saturn sets 3hrs 4min after sunset
Uranus rises 16hrs 29min after sunrise	 Uranus sets 14hrs 36min after sunset
Neptune rises 15hrs 5min after sunrise	 Neptune sets 11hrs 33min after sunset
Pluto rises 11hrs 50min after sunrise	 Pluto sets 7hrs 16min after sunset
Luna rises 14hrs 51min after sunrise	 Luna sets 12hrs 34min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:20am
     Transit: 1:32pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:43pm
     Constellation: Cancer
      RA: 8h 58m 14.177s
     DEC: +17 09' 45.00"
     Distance: 1.01453124 AU = 151,771,713 km = 94,306,571 miles = 8.45 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.53 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 9:10pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:48pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:29pm ( 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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 9:12pm
     Transit: 3:10am - Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:16am - Aug 4
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  95.24% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00255734 AU = 382,573 km = 237,720 miles = 1.28 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -12.1
     Apparent size: 31.22 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 154.75 (morning sky)
     Age: 15d 21h 21m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Wednesday Aug 1, 2012 at 11:27pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Thursday Aug 9, 2012 at 2:55pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm the Moon will be 5.2 above the east horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:50am
     Transit: 12:50pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:51pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  5.89% illuminated
     Distance: .64582059 AU = 96,613,385 km = 60,032,775 miles = 5.38 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 3.3
     Apparent size: 10.41 arcseconds in  angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 10.65 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Thursday, August 16, 2012 (18 41' 31")
          Evening: Friday, October 26, 2012 (24 04' 52")
     Conjunctions of Mercury...
            Prior: Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:06:27pm
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:14:14am
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 10:12:33am
     On 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Mercury will be 19.7 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:03am
     Transit: 10:21am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:39pm
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  43.50% illuminated
     Distance: .61910883 AU = 92,617,362 km = 57,549,761 miles = 5.16 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.5
     Apparent size: 26.95 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 45.29 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Venus will be 28.9 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:59am
     Transit: 5:39pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:20pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  89.96% illuminated
     Distance: 1.64640377 AU = 246,298,498 km = 153,042,793 miles = 13.71 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.1
     Apparent size: 5.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 65.76 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Mars will be 15.5 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: 1:44am - Aug 4
     Transit: 9:09am - Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:35pm - Aug 4
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.21% illuminated
     Distance: 5.42704391 AU = 811,874,213 km = 504,475,254 miles = 45.2 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.2
     Apparent size: 36.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 61.32 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Jupiter will be 26.9 below the north horizon
 
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Aug 04, 2012 at  2:31am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 177.0
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         None tonight

Saturn data:
     Rise: 12:26pm
     Transit: 6:07pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:47pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.75% illuminated
     Distance: 10.01896892 AU = 1,498,816,417 km = 931,321,356 miles = 1.39 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 16.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 71.95 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Saturn will be 20 above the southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 10:50pm
     Transit: 5:04am - Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:18am - Aug 4
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.96% illuminated
     Distance: 19.4845388 AU = 2,914,845,515 km = 1,811,201,055 miles = 2.7 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.62 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 123.75 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Uranus will be 12.7 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 9:25pm
     Transit: 2:51am - Aug 4 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:16am - Aug 4
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.04124767 AU = 4,344,508,813 km = 2,699,552,655 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 159.81 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Neptune will be 2.9 above the east horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 6:11pm
     Transit: 11:05pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:59am - Aug 4
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 31.43704151 AU = 4,702,914,470 km = 2,922,255,608 miles = 4.36 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 145.15 (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 8/3/2012 at 9:47:51pm Pluto will be 26.8 above the south-southeast horizon
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