Astronomical Observing from Fishcreek Observing Site
 Friday 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm (nautical twilight)

                    Sunset:  6:41pm
       Civil twilight ends:  7:06pm
    Nautical twilight ends:  7:38pm
Astronomical twilight ends:  8:10pm

Moon Phase: 26.16% illuminated (waxing crescent)
      Rise: 12:23pm
       Age: 4d 11h 31m 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 beautiful 26% illuminated waxing crescent Moon with us until it sets just after 10:15pm. This is a wonderful time to see details due to the steep angle of the sunlight highlighting features. After the Moon sets, we'll have our pick of the available DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see, including the M-objects and NGC objects. Mars is difficult to see now since it's setting at 8:40pm - just 2 hours after sunset. Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece. It rises at 9:00pm and will clear the trees by 10:30pm. Neptune rises at 4:18pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field long before dark. Uranus rises at 5:41pm 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 48min after sunset and we'll try to see it despite the glare of the recently set Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 11min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 77% 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 8:40pm, 1hr 59min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 9:00pm but won't clear the trees until approximately 10:30pm
    Saturn is gone from sight setting at 7:02pm, 21 minutes after sunset
    Uranus rises at 5:41pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 4:18pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 1:08pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!
    Moon is a 26% illuminated waxing crescent setting 3hrs 36min 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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm (nautical twilight).
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

ABOVE HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Mars         1.2     Oph     11:19   20:40
Uranus       5.7     Psc     17:41   06:02
Neptune      7.9     Aqr     16:18   03:04
Pluto       14.3     Sgr     13:08   22:54
Moon        -9.0     Sgr     12:23   22:17

BELOW HORIZON:
Object       Mag    Const     Rise     Set
Sun        -26.7     Vir     07:39   18:41
Mercury     -0.2     Lib     09:45   19:30
Venus       -4.0     Leo     04:29   17:19
Jupiter     -2.7     Tau     21:00   11:56
Saturn       0.6     Vir     08:02   19:03
Mercury rises 2hrs 5min after sunrise	Mercury sets 48min after sunset
Venus rises 3hrs 11min before sunrise	Venus sets 1hr 23min before sunset
Mars rises 3hrs 40min after sunrise	Mars sets 1hr 59min after sunset
Jupiter rises 13hrs 21min after sunrise	Jupiter sets 17hrs 15min after sunset
Saturn rises 23min after sunrise	Saturn sets 21min after sunset
Uranus rises 10hrs 2min after sunrise	Uranus sets 11hrs 21min after sunset
Neptune rises 8hrs 39min after sunrise	Neptune sets 8hrs 23min after sunset
Pluto rises 5hrs 29min after sunrise	Pluto sets 4hrs 12min after sunset
Luna rises 4hrs 44min after sunrise	Luna sets 3hrs 36min after sunset

Sun data:
     Rise: 7:39am
     Transit: 1:11pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:41pm
     Constellation: Virgo
      RA: 13h 40m 10.822s
     DEC: -10 24' 03.11"
     Distance: .99575467 AU = 148,962,778 km = 92,561,180 miles = 8.29 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -26.7
     Apparent size: 32.12 arcminutes in angular diameter

     Civil twilight ends at: 7:06pm ( When the Sun is 6 below the horizon )
     Nautical twilight ends at: 7:38pm ( When the Sun is 12 below the horizon )
     Astronomical twilight ends at: 8:10pm ( 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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-southwest horizon

Moon data:
     Rise: 12:23pm
     Transit: 5:20pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:17pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  26.16% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.00243802 AU = 364,723 km = 226,628 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
     Magnitude: -9.0
     Apparent size: 32.75 arcminutes in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 61.39 (evening sky)
     Age: 4d 11h 31m since last New Moon
     Prior Phase: New Moon on Monday Oct 15, 2012 at 8:03am
      Next Phase: First Quarter on Sunday Oct 21, 2012 at 11:32pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
     On 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm the Moon will be 20 above the south-southwest horizon

Mercury data:
     Rise: 9:45am
     Transit: 2:38pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:30pm
     Constellation: Libra
     Phase:  74.29% illuminated
     Distance: 1.13311214 AU = 169,511,164 km = 105,329,355 miles = 9.44 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -0.2
     Apparent size: 5.94 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 23.13 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Mercury will be 2.6 below the southwest horizon

Venus data:
     Rise: 4:29am
     Transit: 10:54am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 5:19pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase:  77.16% illuminated
     Distance: 1.18240413 AU = 176,885,140 km = 109,911,332 miles = 9.85 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.0
     Apparent size: 14.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 37.30 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Venus will be 25.6 below the west-northwest horizon

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:19am
     Transit: 4:00pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 8:40pm
     Constellation: Ophiuchus
     Phase:  94.29% illuminated
     Distance: 2.01487226 AU = 301,420,600 km = 187,294,080 miles = 16.78 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 1.2
     Apparent size: 4.64 arcseconds in angular diameter
        less than 1/423th the apparent diameter of the Moon
     Elongation from Sun: 42.21 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Mars will be 8.4 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: 9:00pm
     Transit: 4:28am - Oct 20 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 11:56am - Oct 20
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase:  99.44% illuminated
     Distance: 4.3314553 AU = 647,976,490 km = 402,633,929 miles = 36.08 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.7
     Apparent size: 45.51 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 131.01 (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 20, 2012 at 1:18am
          (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
     GRS longitude: 183.9
     Jupiter satellite events (during darkness):
          Europa occultation ends on Friday Oct 19, 2012 at 10:48pm when Jupiter is 17.6 above the horizon
     On 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Jupiter will be 13.3 below the north-northeast horizon
 
Saturn data:
     Rise: 8:02am
     Transit: 1:32pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 7:03pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase:  100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 10.76428599 AU = 1,610,314,264 km = 1,000,602,907 miles = 1.49 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.6
     Apparent size: 15.44 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 5.20 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Saturn will be 7.8 below the west-southwest horizon

Uranus data:
     Rise: 5:41pm
     Transit: 11:52pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 6:02am - Oct 20
     Constellation: Pisces
     Phase:  99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 19.13059233 AU = 2,861,895,878 km = 1,778,299,676 miles = 2.66 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 158.73 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Uranus will be 20.6 above the east horizon

Neptune data:
     Rise: 4:18pm
     Transit: 9:41pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 3:04am - Oct 20
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 29.43198832 AU = 4,402,962,782 km = 2,735,874,267 miles = 4.09 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 123.50 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Neptune will be 29.8 above the southeast horizon

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 1:08pm
     Transit: 6:01pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets: 10:54pm
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase:  99.98% illuminated
     Distance: 32.64101809 AU = 4,883,026,803 km = 3,034,172,224 miles = 4.53 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.3
     Apparent size: 0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 70.26 (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 10/19/2012 at 7:38:06pm Pluto will be 25 above the south-southwest horizon
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