Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  7:03pm
       Civil twilight ends:  7:28pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  8:00pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  8:32pm

Moon Phase: 71.25% illuminated (waning gibbous)
      Rise: 10:16pm
       Age: 19d 21h 50m since last New Moon

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our eighteenth year!
Tonight we're Moonless until it rises at 10:15pm. However, it won't clear the trees until nearly midnight so we'll have our pick of the available DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see, including the M-objects and NGC objects. The relative motions of Earth and Saturn around the Sun have caused it to set at 7:53pm so it's no longer available to us. Mars is also very difficult now since it's setting at 9:01pm. Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece. It rises at 9:56pm and will clear the trees by 11:30pm. Neptune rises at 5:13pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 6:30pm. Uranus rises at 6:37pm and will be visible by 7:40pm. 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 36min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 24min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 73% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is low on the horizon but still visible tonight and sets at 9:01pm, 1hr 58min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 9:53pm but won't clear the trees until approximately 11:30pm
    Saturn is gone from sight setting at 7:53pm, 50min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 6:37pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 5:13pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 2:02pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 71% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 10:15pm, 3hrs 12min 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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Lib     11:24   21:02
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:38   07:00
Neptune      7.8     Aqr     17:14   04:00
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     14:03   23:48

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:24   19:03
Mercury     -0.3     Vir     08:56   19:40
Venus       -4.1     Leo     04:01   17:31
Jupiter     -2.6     Tau     21:57   12:53
Saturn       0.7     Vir     08:49   19:53
Moon       -10.9     Tau     22:16   13:28
Mercury rises 1hr 32min after sunrise	Mercury sets 36min after sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 24min before sunrise	Venus sets 1hr 32min before sunset
Mars rises 3hrs 59min after sunrise	Mars sets 1hr 58min after sunset
Jupiter rises 14hrs 32min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 17hrs 50min after sunset
Saturn rises 1hr 25min after sunrise	Saturn sets 50min after sunset
Uranus rises 11hrs 13min after sunrise	Uranus sets 11hrs 57min after sunset
Neptune rises 9hrs 49min after sunrise	Neptune sets 8hrs 57min after sunset
Pluto rises 6hrs 38min after sunrise	Pluto sets 4hrs 45min after sunset
Luna rises 14hrs 51min after sunrise	Luna sets 18hrs 24min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:24am
     Transit: 1:14pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:03pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: .99970915 AU = 149,554,360 km = 92,928,772 miles = 8.33 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.00 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:28pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 8:00pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:32pm ( When the Sun is 18 below the horizon )

     Fall began at the Autumnal Equinox which occurred on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 10:49am
     Winter begins at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Friday Dec 21, 2012 at 6:12am

     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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 10:16pm
     Transit: 5:52am - Oct 6 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 1:28pm - Oct 6
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  71.25% illuminated (waning gibbous)
     Distance: 0.00271889 AU = 406,740 km = 252,737 miles = 1.36 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -10.9
     Apparent size: 29.37 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 115.00 (morning sky)
     Age: 19d 21h 50m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Full Moon on Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 11:19pm
      Next Phase: Last Quarter on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 3:33am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm the Moon will be 20 below the north-northeast horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 8:56am
     Transit: 2:19pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:40pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  87.88% illuminated
     Distance: 1.30542625 AU = 195,288,988 km = 121,346,953 miles = 10.87 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.3
     Apparent size: 5.15 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 17.71 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Mercury will be 4.7 below the west-southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 4:01am
     Transit: 10:46am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:31pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  72.53% illuminated
     Distance: 1.09028602 AU = 163,104,467 km = 101,348,418 miles = 9.08 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.1
     Apparent size: 15.30 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 39.99 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Venus will be 25.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:24am
     Transit: 4:13pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 9:02pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  93.48% illuminated
     Distance: 1.96187626 AU = 293,492,511 km = 182,367,794 miles = 16.34 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 4.77 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/370th the apparent diameter of the Moon
     Elongation from Sun: 46.06 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Mars will be 8.7 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: 9:57pm
     Transit: 5:25am - Oct 6 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:53pm - Oct 6
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.21% illuminated
     Distance: 4.50716049 AU = 674,261,612 km = 418,966,747 miles = 37.54 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.6
     Apparent size: 43.74 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 116.77 (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 Oct 05, 2012 at 11:47pm
        (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 183.5
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Ganymede eclipse begins on Saturday Oct 06, 2012 at 0:31am when Jupiter is 26.2 above the horizon
          Ganymede eclipse ends on Saturday Oct 06, 2012 at 2:30am when Jupiter is 48.5 above the horizon
     On 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Jupiter will be 17.6 below the north-northeast horizon

Saturn data:
     Rise: 8:49am
     Transit: 2:21pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:53pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 10.72087019 AU = 1,603,819,353 km = 996,567,156 miles = 1.49 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.50 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 17.02 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Saturn will be 2.3 below the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:38pm
     Transit: 0:49am - Oct 6 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:00am - Oct 6
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.06973215 AU = 2,852,791,324 km = 1,772,642,368 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.70 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 173.09 (evening sky)
     Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to Earth)
        Previous: Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 3:07am
            Next: Thursday Oct 3, 2013 at 10:04am
     On 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Uranus will be 14.3 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 5:14pm
     Transit: 10:37pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 4:00am - Oct 6
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.24815154 AU = 4,375,461,192 km = 2,718,785,571 miles = 4.06 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.8
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 137.56 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Neptune will be 25.7 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 2:03pm
     Transit: 6:56pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:48pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.4012503 AU = 4,847,158,053 km = 3,011,884,416 miles = 4.5 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 83.90 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Pluto will be 27.3 above the south horizon
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