Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:24pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:50pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:26pm
Astronomical twilight ends: 10:04pm

Moon Phase: 0.42% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 6:37am
       Age: 0d 9h 36m 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 no Moon since it sets 19min before sunset at 8:05pm this evening. The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be a great target until it sets 2hrs 30min after sunset at 10:54pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 10:44pm. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's rising 56 minutes after midnight. Neptune rises at 8:29pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 10:03pm. Uranus rises at 9:54pm and will be visible by 11:20pm. 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 rises 1hr 32min before sunrise but is difficult to see in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 36min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 1/2 phase
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 10:44pm tonight, 2hrs 20min after sunset
    Jupiter rises 56 minutes after midnight, 5hrs 38min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 10:54pm, 2hrs 30min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 9:54pm and will be visible this evening if you stay late
    Neptune rises at 9:29pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 5:15pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 0.4% illuminated waxing crescent setting 19min before sunset

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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.1     Vir     11:48   22:45
Saturn       0.8     Vir     11:36   22:54
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     20:29   07:19
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     17:15   03:02

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:35   20:24
Mercury     -0.3     Cnc     05:02   19:28
Venus       -4.4     Gem     02:59   17:41
Jupiter     -2.2     Tau     00:56   15:50
Uranus       5.8     Cet     21:54   10:22
Moon        -4.3     Sex     06:37   20:05
Mercury rises 1hr 32min before sunrise	Mercury sets 57min before sunset		
Venus rises 3hrs 36min before sunrise	Venus sets 2hrs 43min before sunset		
Mars rises 5hrs 13min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 20min after sunset		
Jupiter rises 5hrs 38min before sunrise	Jupiter sets 4hrs 34min before sunset		
Saturn rises 5hrs 2min after sunrise	Saturn sets 2hrs 30min after sunset		
Uranus rises 15hrs 20min after sunrise	Uranus sets 13hrs 57min after sunset		
Neptune rises 13hrs 55min after sunrise	Neptune sets 10hrs 55min after sunset		
Pluto rises 10hrs 41min after sunrise	Pluto sets 6hrs 38min after sunset		
Luna rises 2min after sunrise		Luna sets 19min before sunset		
Sun data:
     Rise: 6:35am
     Transit: 1:30pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:24pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Distance: 1.01225194 AU = 151,430,735 km = 94,094,698 miles = 8.43 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.60 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:50pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:26pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 10:04pm ( 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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 6:37am
     Transit: 1:26pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:05pm
     Constellation: Sextans
     Phase:  0.42% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00255311 AU = 381,940 km = 237,327 miles = 1.28 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -4.3
     Apparent size: 31.28 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 7.44 (evening sky)
     Age: 0d 9h 36m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Friday Aug 17, 2012 at 11:54am
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 9:54am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm the Moon will be 15.6 below the west-northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:02am
     Transit: 12:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:28pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  47.53% illuminated
     Distance: .94360004 AU = 141,160,557 km = 87,713,105 miles = 7.86 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.3
     Apparent size: 7.13 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 18.57 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Friday, October 26, 2012 (24 04' 52")
          Morning: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (20 33' 03")
     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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Mercury will be 19 below the northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 2:59am
     Transit: 10:20am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:41pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  51.55% illuminated
     Distance: .72851999 AU = 108,985,039 km = 67,720,164 miles = 6.07 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.4
     Apparent size: 22.90 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 45.78 (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Friday, November 1, 2013 (47 04' 26")
          Morning: Saturday, March 22, 2014 (46 33' 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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Venus will be 27.5 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:48am
     Transit: 5:16pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:45pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  90.67% illuminated
     Distance: 1.72852758 AU = 258,584,045 km = 160,676,678 miles = 14.4 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.1
     Apparent size: 5.41 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 60.94 (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Mars will be 12.8 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: 0:56am - Aug 18
     Transit: 8:23am - Aug 18 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:50pm - Aug 18
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.07% illuminated
     Distance: 5.23209346 AU = 782,710,041 km = 486,353,477 miles = 43.58 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.2
     Apparent size: 37.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 72.61 (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 Aug 18, 2012 at 4:07am
     GRS longitude: 177.3
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight
     On 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Jupiter will be 25.7 below the north horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 11:36am
     Transit: 5:15pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:54pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.80% illuminated
     Distance: 10.23032897 AU = 1,530,435,431 km = 950,968,500 miles = 1.42 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 16.25 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 59.53 (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Saturn will be 14.8 above the southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 9:54pm
     Transit: 4:08am - Aug 18 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:22am - Aug 18
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.97% illuminated
     Distance: 19.30753384 AU = 2,888,365,950 km = 1,794,747,416 miles = 2.68 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.8
     Apparent size: 3.65 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 137.47 (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Uranus will be 6.5 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 8:29pm
     Transit: 1:54am - Aug 18 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:19am - Aug 18
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 28.98892269 AU = 4,336,681,108 km = 2,694,688,744 miles = 4.02 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.36 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 173.58 (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Neptune will be 8.9 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 5:15pm
     Transit: 10:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:02am - Aug 18
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 31.60229632 AU = 4,727,636,238 km = 2,937,617,002 miles = 4.39 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 131.56 (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Pluto will be 28.5 above the south-southeast horizon
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