Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  6:52pm
       Civil twilight ends:  7:17pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  7:48pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  8:20pm

Moon Phase: 8.81% illuminated (waning crescent)
      Rise: 4:12am
       Age: 26d 21h 35m 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 for the entire night since it sets at 5:02pm this afternoon. 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 Saturn to set at 7:27pm so it's no longer available for us to observe. Mars is also very difficult now since it's setting at 8:50pm. Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece. It rises at 9:28pm and will clear the trees by 11:00pm. Neptune rises at 4:45pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 6:00pm. Uranus rises at 6:09pm and will be visible by 7:10pm. 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 43min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 17min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 75% 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 8:50pm, 1hr 59min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 9:28pm but won't clear the trees until approximately 11:00pm
    Saturn is gone from sight setting at 7:27pm, 36min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 6:09pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 4:45pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 1:35pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 9% illuminated waning crescent setting at 5:02pm this afternoon, 1hr 50min 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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Sco     11:21   20:50
Uranus       5.7     Psc     18:09   06:31
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     16:46   03:32
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     13:35   23:21

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:32   18:52
Mercury     -0.2     Lib     09:22   19:35
Venus       -4.1     Leo     04:14   17:26
Jupiter     -2.6     Tau     21:29   12:25
Saturn       0.7     Vir     08:26   19:28
Moon        -7.3     Leo     04:12   17:02
Mercury rises 1hr 51min after sunrise	Mercury sets 43min after sunset		
Venus rises 3hrs 17min before sunrise	Venus sets 1hr 26min before sunset		
Mars rises 3hrs 50min after sunrise	Mars sets 1hr 59min after sunset		
Jupiter rises 13hrs 57min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 17hrs 34min after sunset		
Saturn rises 54min after sunrise	Saturn sets 36min after sunset		
Uranus rises 10hrs 38min after sunrise	Uranus sets 11hrs 40min after sunset		
Neptune rises 9hrs 14min after sunrise	Neptune sets 8hrs 41min after sunset		
Pluto rises 6hrs 4min after sunrise	Pluto sets 4hrs 30min after sunset		
Luna rises 3hrs 19min before sunrise	Luna sets 1hr 50min before sunset		

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:32am
     Transit: 1:12pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:52pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Distance: .99774241 AU = 149,260,140 km = 92,745,952 miles = 8.31 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.06 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:17pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:48pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:20pm ( 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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 4:12am
     Transit: 10:42am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:02pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  8.81% illuminated (waning crescent)
     Distance: 0.00251737 AU = 376,593 km = 234,004 miles = 1.26 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -7.3
     Apparent size: 31.72 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 34.45 (morning sky)
     Age: 26d 21h 35m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: Last Quarter on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 3:33am
      Next Phase: New Moon on Monday Oct 15, 2012 at 8:03am
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm the Moon will be 30.5 below the west-northwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 9:22am
     Transit: 2:29pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:35pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  82.14% illuminated
     Distance: 1.23030818 AU = 184,051,484 km = 114,364,291 miles = 10.25 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.2
     Apparent size: 5.47 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 20.84 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Mercury will be 3.6 below the west-southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 4:14am
     Transit: 10:50am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:26pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  74.91% illuminated
     Distance: 1.13713778 AU = 170,113,391 km = 105,703,562 miles = 9.47 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.1
     Apparent size: 14.67 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 38.68 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Venus will be 25.4 below the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:21am
     Transit: 4:06pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:50pm
     Constellation: Scorpius
     Phase:  93.89% illuminated
     Distance: 1.98905342 AU = 297,558,156 km = 184,894,068 miles = 16.57 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 4.70 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/404th the apparent diameter of the Moon
     Elongation from Sun: 44.12 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Mars will be 8.5 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: 9:29pm
     Transit: 4:57am - Oct 13 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 12:25pm - Oct 13
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.32% illuminated
     Distance: 4.41552155 AU = 660,552,622 km = 410,448,375 miles = 36.78 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.6
     Apparent size: 44.65 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 123.79 (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 Oct 13, 2012 at 0:32am
        (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 183.7
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          None tonight
     On 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Jupiter will be 15.6 below the north-northeast horizon
 
Saturn data:
     Rise: 8:26am
     Transit: 1:57pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:28pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 10.74866264 AU = 1,607,977,043 km = 999,150,625 miles = 1.49 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 15.46 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 11.02 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Saturn will be 5 below the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:09pm
     Transit: 0:20am - Oct 13 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:31am - Oct 13
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.09289507 AU = 2,856,256,447 km = 1,774,795,496 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 165.93 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Uranus will be 17.4 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 4:46pm
     Transit: 10:09pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:32am - Oct 13
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.33527559 AU = 4,388,494,764 km = 2,726,884,258 miles = 4.07 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 130.53 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Neptune will be 27.8 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:35pm
     Transit: 6:28pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:21pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.5227069 AU = 4,865,327,701 km = 3,023,174,512 miles = 4.51 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 77.08 (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 10/12/2012 at 7:48:28pm Pluto will be 26.3 above the south horizon
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