Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  7:51pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:16pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  8:49pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:23pm

Moon Phase: 54.85% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 11:34pm - Sep 7
       Age: 21d 8h 52m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight we're Moon free since it doesn't rise until 11:34pm and won't clear the trees to the east of the observing field until around 1:15am tomorrow morning. Lots 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 9:35pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day setting at 9:56pm. Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it won't rise until 11:42pm and won't clear the trees until after 1:00am. Neptune rises at 7:05pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 8:30pm. Uranus rises at 8:30pm and will be visible by 9:50pm. 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 16min before sunrise and is totally lost in the glare of the rising Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 41min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 62% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 9:56pm tonight, 2hrs 6min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 11:42pm but won't clear the trees until after 1:00am
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 9:35pm, 1hr 45min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 8:30pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 7:05pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 3:52pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 54.8% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 11:34pm and setting 18hrs 58min 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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Lib     11:35   21:56
Saturn       0.8     Vir     10:24   21:36
Uranus       5.7     Cet     20:30   08:56
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     19:06   05:54
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     15:52   01:39

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     06:56   19:51
Mercury     -1.8     Leo     06:39   19:52
Venus       -4.2     Cnc     03:14   17:44
Jupiter     -2.4     Tau     23:43   14:38
Moon       -10.2     Tau     23:34   14:48

Mercury rises 16min before sunrise	Mercury sets 2min after sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 41min before sunrise	Venus sets 2hrs 7min before sunset
Mars rises 4hrs 39min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 6min after sunset
Jupiter rises 16hrs 47min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 18hrs 48min after sunset
Saturn rises 3hrs 28min after sunrise	Saturn sets 1hr 45min after sunset
Uranus rises 13hrs 35min after sunrise	Uranus sets 13hrs 5min after sunset
Neptune rises 12hrs 10min after sunrise	Neptune sets 10hrs 3min after sunset
Pluto rises 8hrs 57min after sunrise	Pluto sets 5hrs 48min after sunset
Luna rises 16hrs 39min after sunrise	Luna sets 18hrs 58min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 6:56am - Sep 7
     Transit: 1:23pm - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:51pm - Sep 7
     Constellation: Leo
      RA: 11h 07m 38.616s
     DEC: + 5 36' 15.81"
     Distance: 1.00745907 AU = 150,713,731 km = 93,649,172 miles = 8.39 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.75 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:16pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:49pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:23pm ( 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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 11:34pm - Sep 7
     Transit: 7:11am - Sep 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:48pm - Sep 8
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  54.85% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00271604 AU = 406,314 km = 252,472 miles = 1.36 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -10.2
     Apparent size: 29.40 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 95.41 (morning sky)
     Age: 21d 8h 52m 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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm the Moon will be 22.9 below the north-northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 6:39am - Sep 7
     Transit: 1:16pm - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:52pm - Sep 7
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  99.49% illuminated
     Distance: 1.35930015 AU = 203,348,408 km = 126,354,844 miles = 11.32 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.8
     Apparent size: 4.95 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 2.90 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Mercury will be 11.3 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:14am - Sep 7
     Transit: 10:29am - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:44pm - Sep 7
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  61.63% illuminated
     Distance: .88956665 AU = 133,077,277 km = 82,690,387 miles = 7.41 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.2
     Apparent size: 18.76 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 44.27 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Venus will be 26 below the northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:35am - Sep 7
     Transit: 4:46pm - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:56pm - Sep 7
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  91.84% illuminated
     Distance: 1.83840665 AU = 275,021,721 km = 170,890,577 miles = 15.31 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 5.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 54.25 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Mars will be 10.3 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: 11:43pm - Sep 7
     Transit: 7:11am - Sep 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:38pm - Sep 8
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  98.99% illuminated
     Distance: 4.91769957 AU = 735,677,385 km = 457,128,740 miles = 40.96 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.4
     Apparent size: 40.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 90.54 (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 08, 2012 at 6:28am
          (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 177.8
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io occultation ends on Saturday Sep 08, 2012 at 1:25am when Jupiter is 16.6 above the horizon
     On 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Jupiter will be 23.1 below the north-northeast horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 10:24am - Sep 7
     Transit: 4:00pm - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:36pm - Sep 7
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.88% illuminated
     Distance: 10.49726322 AU = 1,570,368,226 km = 975,781,589 miles = 1.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 15.83 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 41.20 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Saturn will be 7.5 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 8:30pm - Sep 7
     Transit: 2:43am - Sep 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:56am - Sep 8
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.1239335 AU = 2,860,899,731 km = 1,777,680,699 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 158.40 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Uranus will be 2.3 above the east-northeast horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 7:06pm - Sep 7
     Transit: 0:30am - Sep 8 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:54am - Sep 8
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.01773282 AU = 4,340,991,042 km = 2,697,366,813 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 165.55 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Neptune will be 16.7 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 3:52pm - Sep 7
     Transit: 8:45pm - Sep 7 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:39am - Sep 8
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 31.91739475 AU = 4,774,774,292 km = 2,966,907,232 miles = 4.43 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 111.15 (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 9/7/2012 at 8:48:40pm Pluto will be 29.2 above the south horizon
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