Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  7:39pm
       Civil twilight ends:  8:03pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  8:36pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  9:09pm

Moon Phase: 1.80% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 5:26am
       Age: 28d 8h 38m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our seventeenth year!
Tonight we're totally Moon free. All of the available DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking, including the M-objects and NGC objects. Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons is now setting at 9:10pm and is very difficult to see since it's so low on the horizon. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day setting at 9:41pm. Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece. It rises at 11:17pm and will clear the trees by 12:50am. Neptune rises at 6:37pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 8:00pm. Uranus rises at 8:02pm and will be visible by 9:20pm. 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 sets 14min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 39min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 64% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 9:41pm tonight, 2hrs 3min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 11:17pm but won't clear the trees until after 12:50am
    Saturn is almost gone from sight setting at 9:10pm, 1hr 32min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 8:02pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 6:37pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 3:24pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a tiny 1.8% illuminated waning crescent setting at 6:34pm, 1hr 4min 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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Lib     11:32   21:41
Saturn       0.8     Vir     10:00   21:10
Uranus       5.7     Cet     20:02   08:27
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     18:38   05:25
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     15:25   01:11

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Leo     07:03   19:39
Mercury     -1.4     Vir     07:19   19:53
Venus       -4.2     Cnc     03:24   17:43
Jupiter     -2.4     Tau     23:17   14:13
Moon        -4.9     Sex     05:26   18:34
Mercury rises 17min after sunrise	Mercury sets 14min after sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 39min before sunrise	Venus sets 1hr 56min before sunset
Mars rises 4hrs 29min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 3min after sunset
Jupiter rises 16hrs 15min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 18hrs 35min after sunset
Saturn rises 2hrs 57min after sunrise	Saturn sets 1hr 32min after sunset
Uranus rises 13hrs 0min after sunrise	Uranus sets 12hrs 48min after sunset
Neptune rises 11hrs 35min after sunrise	Neptune sets 9hrs 47min after sunset
Pluto rises 8hrs 22min after sunrise	Pluto sets 5hrs 32min after sunset
Luna rises 1hr 37min before sunrise	Luna sets 1hr 4min before sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:03am
     Transit: 1:21pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:39pm
     Constellation: Leo
      RA: 11h 32m 45.060s
     DEC: + 2 56' 27.37"
     Distance: 1.0056557 AU = 150,443,951 km = 93,481,538 miles = 8.38 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.81 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 8:03pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:36pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 9:09pm ( 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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 5:26am
     Transit: 12:05pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:34pm
     Constellation: Sextans
     Phase:  1.80% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.0025273 AU = 378,078 km = 234,927 miles = 1.26 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -4.9
     Apparent size: 31.60 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 15.36 (morning sky)
     Age: 28d 8h 38m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Saturday Sep 8, 2012 at 9:15am
      Next Phase: New Moon on Saturday Sep 15, 2012 at 10:11pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm the Moon will be 22.8 below the west-northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:19am
     Transit: 1:37pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:53pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.15% illuminated
     Distance: 1.39315599 AU = 208,413,169 km = 129,501,941 miles = 11.6 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -1.4
     Apparent size: 4.83 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 4.15 (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Friday, October 26, 2012 (24 04' 52")
          Morning: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (20 33' 03")
     Conjunctions of Mercury...
            Prior: Superior Conjunction on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:14:14am
             Next: Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 10:12:33am
             Next: Superior Conjunction on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:38:10am
     On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Mercury will be 9.2 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:24am
     Transit: 10:34am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:43pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  64.58% illuminated
     Distance: .9415489 AU = 140,853,710 km = 87,522,439 miles = 7.84 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.2
     Apparent size: 17.72 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 43.38 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Venus will be 25.7 below the northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:32am
     Transit: 4:37pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:41pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  92.25% illuminated
     Distance: 1.87168667 AU = 280,000,341 km = 173,984,148 miles = 15.59 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 5.00 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 52.13 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Mars will be 9.8 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: 11:17pm
     Transit: 6:45am - Sep 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 2:13pm - Sep 15
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.01% illuminated
     Distance: 4.81143751 AU = 719,780,807 km = 447,251,064 miles = 40.08 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.4
     Apparent size: 40.97 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 96.83 (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: Friday Sep 14, 2012 at 9:19pm
          (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 178.0
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Io eclipse begins on Friday Sep 14, 2012 at 11:46pm when Jupiter is 3.7 above the horizon
          Io occultation ends on Saturday Sep 15, 2012 at 3:18am when Jupiter is 42.5 above the horizon
     On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Jupiter will be 22 below the north-northeast horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 10:00am
     Transit: 3:35pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:10pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.91% illuminated
     Distance: 10.56895611 AU = 1,581,093,330 km = 982,445,860 miles = 1.47 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.8
     Apparent size: 15.72 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 35.14 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Saturn will be 5.1 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 8:02pm
     Transit: 2:15am - Sep 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:27am - Sep 15
     Constellation: Cetus
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.08866192 AU = 2,855,623,178 km = 1,774,402,001 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 165.46 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Uranus will be 5.3 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 6:38pm
     Transit: 0:01am - Sep 15 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:25am - Sep 15
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 29.05575781 AU = 4,346,679,499 km = 2,700,901,456 miles = 4.03 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 158.57 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Neptune will be 19 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 3:25pm
     Transit: 8:18pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:11am - Sep 15
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.03473703 AU = 4,792,328,447 km = 2,977,814,878 miles = 4.45 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 104.34 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Pluto will be 29 above the south horizon
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