Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:13pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:39pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:14pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:50pm

Moon Phase: 55.38% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
      Rise: 2:38pm
       Age: 7d 9h 21m 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 a first-quarter Moon with us until it sets just after midnight. Some of the DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking, as will Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons until it sets at 10:27pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day setting at 10:27pm. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's rising 32 minutes after midnight. Neptune rises at 8:01pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 9:30pm. Uranus rises at 9:26pm and will be visible by 10:50pm. 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. Bring your binoculars and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy with them!

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 22min before sunrise but is difficult to see in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 40min 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 10:27pm tonight, 2hrs 14min after sunset
    Jupiter rises 32 minutes after midnight, 6hrs 9min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 10:27pm, 2hrs 14min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 9:26pm and will be visible this evening if you stay late
    Neptune rises at 8:01pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 4:47pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 55% illuminated waxing gibbous setting 29min after midnight

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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Mercury rises 1hr 22min before sunrise	Mercury sets 37min before sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 40min before sunrise	Venus sets 2hrs 31min before sunset
Mars rises 5hrs 1min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 14min after sunset
Jupiter rises 6hrs 9min before sunrise	Jupiter sets 4hrs 47min before sunset
Saturn rises 4hrs 30min after sunrise	Saturn sets 2hrs 14min after sunset
Uranus rises 14hrs 45min after sunrise	Uranus sets 13hrs 40min after sunset
Neptune rises 13hrs 20min after sunrise	Neptune sets 10hrs 37min after sunset
Pluto rises 10hrs 6min after sunrise	Pluto sets 6hrs 21min after sunset
Luna rises 7hrs 56min after sunrise	Luna sets 4hrs 16min after sunset

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Vir     11:43   22:28
Saturn       0.8     Vir     11:12   22:28
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     20:01   06:51
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     16:47   02:34
Moon       -10.4     Oph     14:38   00:29

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:42   20:13
Mercury     -1.0     Cnc     05:20   19:37
Venus       -4.4     Gem     03:02   17:43
Jupiter     -2.3     Tau     00:32   15:27
Uranus       5.7     Cet     21:26   09:53
Sun data:
     Rise: 6:42am
     Transit: 1:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:13pm
     Constellation: Leo
      RA: 10h 16m 56.388s
     DEC: +10 40' 07.83"
     Distance: 1.01077927 AU = 151,210,426 km = 93,957,804 miles = 8.42 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.65 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:39pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:14pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:50pm ( 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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 2:38pm
     Transit: 7:34pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:29am - Aug 25
     Constellation: Ophiuchus
     Phase:  55.38% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00245725 AU = 367,600 km = 228,416 miles = 1.23 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -10.4
     Apparent size: 32.50 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 96.04 (evening sky)
     Age: 7d 9h 21m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: First Quarter on Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 9:54am
      Next Phase: Full Moon on Friday Aug 31, 2012 at 9:58am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm the Moon will be 23.1 above the south-southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:20am
     Transit: 12:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:37pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  74.82% illuminated
     Distance: 1.12753342 AU = 168,676,599 km = 104,810,781 miles = 9.39 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.0
     Apparent size: 5.97 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 15.31 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Mercury will be 16.6 below the west-northwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:02am
     Transit: 10:22am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:43pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  55.14% illuminated
     Distance: .78282328 AU = 117,108,696 km = 72,767,971 miles = 6.52 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.4
     Apparent size: 21.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 45.51 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Venus will be 26.9 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:43am
     Transit: 5:06pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:28pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  91.05% illuminated
     Distance: 1.76691451 AU = 264,326,648 km = 164,244,966 miles = 14.72 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 5.30 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 58.65 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Mars will be 11.8 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: 0:32am - Aug 25
     Transit: 7:59am - Aug 25 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:27pm - Aug 25
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.02% illuminated
     Distance: 5.12914831 AU = 767,309,665 km = 476,784,127 miles = 42.72 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.3
     Apparent size: 38.44 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 78.45 (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 25, 2012 at  4:54am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 177.5
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
         No events tonight
     On 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Jupiter will be 24.9 below the north horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 11:12am
     Transit: 4:50pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:28pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.83% illuminated
     Distance: 10.3270635 AU = 1,544,906,710 km = 959,960,536 miles = 1.43 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 16.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 53.39 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Saturn will be 12.3 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 9:26pm
     Transit: 3:40am - Aug 25 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:53am - Aug 25
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 19.23426243 AU = 2,877,404,703 km = 1,787,936,413 miles = 2.67 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.66 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 144.40 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Uranus will be 3.5 below the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 8:01pm
     Transit: 1:26am - Aug 25 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:51am - Aug 25
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 28.98413273 AU = 4,335,964,540 km = 2,694,243,489 miles = 4.02 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.36 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 179.18 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24am
            Next: Monday Aug 26, 2013 at 9:35pm
     On 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Neptune will be 11.6 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 4:47pm
     Transit: 9:41pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:34am - Aug 25
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.69974443 AU = 4,742,214,268 km = 2,946,675,370 miles = 4.4 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 124.75 (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 8/24/2012 at 9:13:43pm Pluto will be 28.9 above the south-southeast horizon
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