Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
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Previous event     Friday 8/31/2012 at 9:00 pm     Next event

This event was CANCELLED due to unstable weather conditions

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Click here for chart of Solar/Lunar/planet availability for tonight. 

Tonight we'll have a full Moon with us until it sets at 8:04am tomorrow morning.  A few 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 10:01pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day setting at 10:11pm.  Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it won't rise until 7 minutes after midnight.  Neptune rises at 7:33pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 9:00pm.  Uranus rises at 8:58pm and will be visible by 10:20pm.  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.  Bring your binoculars and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy with them!

Click here for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.

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

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it will be night time after all 
    Mercury rises 52min before sunrise but is difficult to see in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 42min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 60% illuminated gibbous phase
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 10:11pm tonight, 2hrs 9min after sunset
    Jupiter rises 7 minutes after midnight, 6hrs 41min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 10:01pm, 1hr 59min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 8:58pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 7:33pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 4:19pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!  We can show you where it is.  OK, OK...if you want to try to see it, we'll try.  Don't expect to see anything, though!
    Moon is a 99.6% illuminated waning gibbous setting 12hrs 2min after sunset


Click here for additional information on the planets not listed in the detail below.

Click here for a list of constellations we can see tonight before midnight.

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our sixteenth year!

- - - - - - - Our location - - - - - - -

Longitude:

W 81 25' 38.4"
Latitude: N 41 11' 11.1"
Altitude:

 337m

- - - - - Click here for map - - - - -

Note: All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio
.
 

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:49 20:02
  Mercury Leo -1.4 05:57 19:47
  Venus Gemini -4.3 03:07 17:44
Mars   Virgo 1.2 11:39 22:12
  Jupiter Taurus -2.3 00:08 15:03
Saturn   Virgo 0.8 10:48 22:02
  Uranus Cetus 5.7 20:58 09:25
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 19:33 06:22
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 16:20 02:06
Moon   Pisces -12.5 19:41 08:04
Click here for information on the planets such as orbital and rotational periods, velocities, distances, etc. not listed in the detail provided below.

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Sun data
 
Rises:

6:49am

Transits:

1:26pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:02pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.00915778 AU = 150,967,855 km = 93,807,077 miles = 8.41 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.70 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:28pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

9:01pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:37pm - 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 Eclipses in Stow, Ohio:
    Partial eclipse (>80%) on Monday August 21, 2017 2:30pm EDT
    Total eclipse (an amazing sight!) on Monday April 8, 2024 2:15pm EST (3:15pm EDT)

On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon
Below is the current image of the Sun in densely-filtered white light updated each morning on the SOHO site.
Notice the graphic below the image that shows the relative size of Jupiter and Earth compared to the Sun:
Never EVER point your telescope at the Sun!!!  Instantaneous and permanent eye damage will result!!!
Very special equipment is required to provide an image like this...don't try this at home.


Click here for a live view of the Sun in hydrogen-alpha light

Click here for additional data on the Sun

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Moon data
 
Rises:

7:41pm

Transits:

1:48am - Sep 1 - (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

8:04am - Sep 1

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.61% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00257732 AU = 385,561 km = 239,577 miles = 1.29 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-12.5

Apparent size:

30.98 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

172.81 (morning sky)

Age:

14d 9h 7m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Full Moon on Friday Aug 31, 2012 at 9:58am

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Saturday Sep 8, 2012 at 9:15am

Next Lunar eclipse:

Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm the Moon will be 13.3 above the east horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at low power
*

*How do we change the "power" (magnification) of our telescopes?
Simple!  By changing the eyepiece to one of a longer or shorter focal length.
If the eyepiece is of shorter focal length, the "power" (magnification) is higher,
If he eyepiece is of longer focal length, the "power" (magnification) is lower.
By how much?  Here's the formula:
Magnification =F focal length of telescope objective lens (or mirror)
focal length of eyepiece being used      

Note: This graphic is a correct-image representation.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

Click here for additional data on the Moon

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Mercury data
 
Rises:

  5:57am

Transits:

12:52pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:47pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

93.13% illuminated

Distance:

1.27354825 AU = 190,520,106 km = 118,383,707 miles = 10.61 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-1.4

Apparent size:

5.28 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

9.28 (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 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Mercury will be 13.8 below the west-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  3:07am

Transits:

10:25am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:44pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

58.49% illuminated

Distance:

0.8365779 AU = 125,150,273 km = 77,764,775 miles = 6.97 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.3 (extremely bright, visible in the northeast before sunrise)

Apparent size:

19.95 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

44.99 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

Friday, November 1, 2013 (47 04' 26")

Evening:

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 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Venus will be 26.4 below the north-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:39am

Transits:

  4:55pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:12pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

91.44% illuminated

Distance:

1.80350177 AU = 269,800,025 km = 167,645,965 miles = 15.02 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.2

Apparent size:

5.19 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/358th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

56.42 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Mars is closest to the 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.

Click here:

For a table of close encounters with Mars from 1969 to 2052


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Mars will be 11 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 1/75
th 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:

    Sky & Telescope

   
Snopes.com

    Hoax-slayer

    Universe Today

Click here for additional data on Mars

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

0:08am - Sep 1

Transits:

7:35am - Sep 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:03pm - Sep 1

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

98.99% illuminated

Distance:

5.02399321 AU = 751,578,687 km = 467,009,351 miles = 41.85 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.3

Apparent size:

39.24 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

84.42 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to the 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 Sep 01, 2012 at 5:41am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 177.7
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        None visible tonight

On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Jupiter will be 24.1 below the north horizon

Click here for additional data on Jupiter

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

10:48am

Transits:

  4:25pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:02pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.86% illuminated

Distance:

10.41633758 AU = 1,558,261,923 km = 968,259,081 miles = 1.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

15.96 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

47.28 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Sunday Apr 15, 2012 at 2:19pm

Next:

Sunday Apr 28, 2013 at 4:20am


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Saturn will be 9.9 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes:

Note: This is a left/right reversed image that will match the view in a refractor (or Schmidt-Cassegrain) when using a 90 diagonal mirror

Click here for additional data on Saturn

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

8:58pm

Transits:

3:11am - Sep 1 -  Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:25am - Sep 1

Constellation:

Cetus

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.17275479 AU = 2,868,203,291 km = 1,782,218,921 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

151.38 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Sunday Sep 25, 2011 at 8:07pm

Next:

Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 3:07am


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Uranus will be 0.6 below the east-northeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

7:33pm

Transits:

0:58am - Sep 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:22am - Sep 1

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

28.99378242 AU = 4,337,408,113 km = 2,695,140,484 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.36 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

172.50 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24am

Next:

Monday Aug 26, 2013 at 9:35pm


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Neptune will be 14.2 above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

4:20pm

Transits:

9:13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:06am - Sep 1

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.80524742 AU = 4,757,997,290 km = 2,956,482,486 miles = 4.42 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

117.95 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03am

Next:

Monday Jul 1, 2013 at 8:06pm


On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Pluto will be 29.2 above the south-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 8/31/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury & Mars orbits can be seen to be rather eccentric (non-circular) and Mercury's orbit tilted significantly to the plane of the ecliptic
Mercury was at Greatest Western Elongation on Thursday, August 16, 2012 and was visible a few mornings before & after that date.
Venus, on the "inside track" from the Earth, reached inferior conjunction on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 and transited the Sun - an extremely rare event
that won't happen again until 12/11/2117, 105 years from now!  It reached Greatest Western Elongation on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Mars was last at opposition on March 3, 2012 and keeps getting further away.  It will reach conjunction on 4/17/2013 at which time it will be over 226 million miles away


(back to 'Quick Links')                                                                  <- Prior Week                  Following Week ->


Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 8/31/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter will reach opposition on December 2, 2012
Saturn last reached opposition on April 15, 2012
Uranus will reach opposition on September 29, 2012
Neptune last reached opposition on August 24, 2012
Pluto's orbit can be seen to be extremely eccentric (non-circular) and severely tilted to the plane of the ecliptic.  It was at opposition on June 29, 2012


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Click here for general Information you should know about our events - Q&A of Where, When and What.

Click here for satellite passes this evening

Click here for chart of Solar/Lunar/planet availability for tonight. 

Very sincerely yours,
Dave Jessie
"Time spent observing the heavens is not deducted from your life span"

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