Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  7:27pm
       Civil twilight ends:  7:51pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  8:23pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  8:56pm

Moon Phase: 40.75% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 1:33pm
       Age: 5d 22h 19m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our eighteenth year!
Tonight we've got a nearly first quarter Moon with us until it sets at 11:23pm. This is a perfect time to see lunar features due to the steep angle of the sunlight illuminating the Moon. Many of the available 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 8:44pm and is almost impossible to see since it's so low on the horizon. Mars is also very difficult now since it's setting at 9:27pm. Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece. It rises at 10:50pm and will clear the trees by 12:25am. Neptune rises at 6:09pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 7:30pm. Uranus rises at 7:33pm and will be visible by 9:00pm. 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 23min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 35min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 67% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 9:27pm tonight, 2hrs 1min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 10:50pm but won't clear the trees until after 12:25am
    Saturn is almost gone from sight setting at 8:44pm, 1hr 18min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 7:33pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 6:09pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 2:57pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 41% illuminated waxing crescent setting at 11:23pm, 3hrs 57min 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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Lib     11:29   21:27
Saturn       0.7     Vir     09:36   20:44
Uranus       5.7     Psc     19:34   07:58
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     18:10   04:57
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     14:57   00:43
Moon        -9.8     Oph     13:33   23:23

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:10   19:27
Mercury     -0.8     Vir     07:55   19:50
Venus       -4.2     Cnc     03:35   17:40
Jupiter     -2.5     Tau     22:51   13:47
Mercury rises 46min after sunrise	Mercury sets 23min after sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 35min before sunrise	Venus sets 1hr 46min before sunset
Mars rises 4hrs 19min after sunrise	Mars sets 2hrs 1min after sunset
Jupiter rises 15hrs 41min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 18hrs 21min after sunset
Saturn rises 2hrs 26min after sunrise	Saturn sets 1hr 18min after sunset
Uranus rises 12hrs 24min after sunrise	Uranus sets 12hrs 32min after sunset
Neptune rises 11hrs 0min after sunrise	Neptune sets 9hrs 30min after sunset
Pluto rises 7hrs 48min after sunrise	Pluto sets 5hrs 17min after sunset
Luna rises 6hrs 24min after sunrise	Luna sets 3hrs 57min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:10am
     Transit: 1:19pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:27pm
     Constellation: Virgo
      RA: 11h 57m 50.075s
     DEC: + 0 13' 56.31"
     Distance: 1.00371164 AU = 150,153,124 km = 93,300,827 miles = 8.36 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 31.87 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:51pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:23pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:56pm ( 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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 1:33pm
     Transit: 6:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:23pm
     Constellation: Ophiuchus
     Phase:  40.75% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00245548 AU = 367,335 km = 228,251 miles = 1.23 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -9.8
     Apparent size: 32.52 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 79.20 (evening sky)
     Age: 5d 22h 19m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Saturday Sep 15, 2012 at 10:11pm
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 3:41pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm the Moon will be 21.7 above the south-southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 7:55am
     Transit: 1:53pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:50pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  96.30% illuminated
     Distance: 1.38980763 AU = 207,912,262 km = 129,190,692 miles = 11.58 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.8
     Apparent size: 4.84 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 9.34 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Mercury will be 7.5 below the west horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 3:35am
     Transit: 10:38am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:40pm
     Constellation: Cancer
     Phase:  67.38% illuminated
     Distance: .99236707 AU = 148,456,000 km = 92,246,283 miles = 8.27 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.2
     Apparent size: 16.81 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 42.36 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Venus will be 25.5 below the northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:29am
     Transit: 4:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:27pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  92.66% illuminated
     Distance: 1.90331755 AU = 284,732,253 km = 176,924,422 miles = 15.85 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 4.92 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 50.06 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Mars will be 9.3 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: 10:51pm
     Transit: 6:19am - Sep 22 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:47pm - Sep 22
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.05% illuminated
     Distance: 4.70660089 AU = 704,097,471 km = 437,505,890 miles = 39.2 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.5
     Apparent size: 41.89 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 103.29 (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 21, 2012 at 10:14pm
            (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 183.2
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Ganymede occultation ends on Friday Sep 21, 2012 at 11:49pm when Jupiter is 8.7 above the horizon
          Io eclipse begins on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 1:40am when Jupiter is 29 above the horizon
     On 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Jupiter will be 20.8 below the north-northeast horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 9:36am
     Transit: 3:10pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:44pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 10.63054212 AU = 1,590,306,465 km = 988,170,637 miles = 1.48 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 29.09 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Saturn will be 2.7 above the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 7:34pm
     Transit: 1:46am - Sep 22 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:58am - Sep 22
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.06766272 AU = 2,852,481,742 km = 1,772,450,003 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.70 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 172.54 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Uranus will be 8.2 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 6:10pm
     Transit: 11:33pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:57am - Sep 22
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.10739839 AU = 4,354,404,821 km = 2,705,701,749 miles = 4.04 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 151.58 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Neptune will be 21.3 above the east-southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 2:57pm
     Transit: 7:50pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 0:43am - Sep 22
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.15564061 AU = 4,810,415,365 km = 2,989,053,568 miles = 4.46 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 97.53 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Pluto will be 28.7 above the south horizon
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