Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  8:02pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:28pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  9:01pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:37pm

Moon Phase: 99.61% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 7:41pm
       Age: 14d 9h 7m 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 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!

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

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it IS 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!
    Moon is a 99.6% illuminated waning gibbous setting 12hrs 2min after 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' 38.3"
 Latitude: N41 11' 11.1"
 Altitude: 337m

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: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Vir     11:39   22:12
Saturn       0.8     Vir     10:48   22:02
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     19:33   06:22
Pluto       14.2     Sgr     16:20   02:06
Moon       -12.5     Psc     19:41   08:04

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:49   20:02
Mercury     -1.4     Leo     05:57   19:47
Venus       -4.3     Gem     03:07   17:44
Jupiter     -2.3     Tau     00:08   15:03
Uranus       5.7     Cet     20:58   09:25
Sun data:
     Rise: 6:49am
     Transit: 1:26pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:02pm
     Constellation: Leo
      RA: 10h 42m 24.691s
     DEC: + 8 11' 25.07"
     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

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:28pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 9:01pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:37pm ( 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 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 7:41pm
     Transit: 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

Mercury data:
     Rise: 5:57am
     Transit: 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

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:07am
     Transit: 10:25am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:44pm
     Constellation: Gemini
     Phase:  58.49% illuminated
     Distance: .8365779 AU = 125,150,273 km = 77,764,775 miles = 6.97 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.3
     Apparent size: 19.95 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 44.99 (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 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Venus will be 26.4 below the north-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:39am
     Transit: 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
     Elongation from Sun: 56.42 (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 8/31/2012 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 1/75th 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: 0:08am - Sep 1
     Transit: 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 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
     GRS longitude: 177.7
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
           None tonight
     On 8/31/2012 at 9:01:20pm Jupiter will be 24.1 below the north horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 10:48am
     Transit: 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 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

Uranus data:
     Rise: 8:58pm
     Transit: 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 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

Neptune data:
     Rise: 7:33pm
     Transit: 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 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

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 4:20pm
     Transit: 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 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
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