Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 9/21/2007

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We tried, but the clouds moved in and effectively
blocked our view of the universe by 10:30pm.
We'll try again in two weeks!


Tonight's event will feature a bright Moon almost the entire night since it doesn't set until 2:02am.  I've got good news and bad news...the good news is there's a wealth of detail to observe on the Moon - the bad news is it's so bright that the dim deep sky objects we love will be difficult or impossible to observe.  We'll have the planet Jupiter, colorful double stars, open clusters made up of hundreds of stars and globular clusters comprised of hundreds of thousands of stars, but planetary nebula formed by dying stars, diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born, won't be available until after 2:00am.  Many amateur astronomers feel that late fall is the best time to observe since there are beautiful objects of all categories available and the Milky Way, the galaxy we live in, is directly overhead.

Click Here for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our thirteenth year!

For observing conditions at our site, please click on the link below: 

ClearSkyClock for Fishcreek Site  (the darker blue the squares are, the better)

Quick links:
    Inner Solar System     Outer Solar System    General Information about our events

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail
was calculated as it will be on Friday
9/21/07 at 8:24:54pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from

Above Horizon Below Horizon
(sets at 2:02am tonight)

Sun data:
     Rise 7:08am
Transit: 1:18pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
Sets 7:28pm
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 1.0039121 AU = 150,183,113 km = 93,319,461 miles = 8.36 light-minutes
Magnitude: -26.7
Apparent size: 31.86 arcminutes in angular diameter
Civil twilight ends at 7:53pm ( When the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon )
Nautical twilight ends at 8:25pm ( When the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon )
Astronomical twilight ends at 8:58pm ( When the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon )
Autumnal Equinox: Sunday Sept 23, 2007 at 5:51am (when fall will officially be here)
Winter Solstice: Saturday Dec 22, 2007 at 2:08am (when winter will officially be here)
     Next Solar Eclipses in Stow, Ohio:
          Partial eclipse (>80%) on Monday August 21, 2017 2:30pm EDT
          Total eclipse (an amazing sight!) on Monday April 8, 2024 2:15pm EST (3:15pm EDT)
     At 8:25pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Moon data:
     Rise 4:42pm
Transit: 9:19pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
Sets 2:02am Sept 22
Constellation: Sagittarius
Phase: 72.76% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
10.49 days since last New Moon
Distance: 0.00255664 AU = 382,468 km = 237,655 miles = 1.28 light-seconds
Magnitude: -11.0
Apparent size: 31.23 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun: 116.95 degrees (evening sky)
Next Phase: Full Moon on Wednesday Sep 26, 2007 at 3:45pm
     Next Lunar eclipse: Total eclipse (100%) on Wednesday Feb 20, 2008 at 9:58pm EST
     At 8:25pm the Moon will be 22.5 above the south-southeast horizon
     and will look like:
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Mercury data:
     Rise 9:18am
     Transit: 2:47pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Sets 8:15pm
     Constellation: Virgo
     Phase: 70.73% illuminated
     Distance: 1.10316453 AU = 165,031,065 km = 102,545,551 miles = 9.19 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.0
     Apparent size: 6.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 24.88 degrees (evening sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Evening: Saturday 9/29/2007 at 4:08pm (25 58' 58")
          Morning: Thursday, 11/08/2007 at 8:31pm (18 58' 34")
     At 8:25pm Mercury will be 3.5 below the west-southwest horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Venus data:
     Rise: 4:04am
     Transit 10:47am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 5:29pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase: 25.70% illuminated (waxing crescent)
     Distance: 0.42622258 AU = 63,761,990 km = 39,619,864 miles = 3.55 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -4.6 Bright, visible in the morning before sunrise
     Apparent size: 39.15 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 39.14 degrees (morning sky)
     Next maximum elongations...
          Morning: Sunday 10/28/2007 at 3:05pm (46 27' 59")
          Evening: Wednesday 1/14/2009 at 9:23pm (47 07' 21")
     At 8:25pm Venus will be 29.1 below the northwest horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Mars data:
     Rise: 11:34pm
     Transit 7:08am Sep 22 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 2:42pm Sep 22
     Constellation: Taurus
     Phase: 86.26% illuminated
     Distance: 1.02224804 AU = 152,926,130 km = 95,023,893 miles = 8.51 light-minutes
     Magnitude: 0.0 (getting brighter)
     Apparent size: 9.15 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting larger)
     Elongation from Sun: 91.96 degrees (morning sky)
     Next close approach of Mars is on Monday, Dec 24, 2007
     At 8:25pm Mars will be 23.4 below the north-northeast horizon
     No, Mars was *not* " big as a Full Moon on August 27!"
     Please see the following links for more information about this annual 'Mars Hoax'
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Jupiter data:
     Rise: 1:26pm
     Transit 6:10pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 10:54pm
     Constellation: Ophiuchus (pronounced oh-fee-oo'-cuss)
     Phase: 99.16% illuminated
     Distance: 5.46476861 AU = 817,517,748 km = 507,981,984 miles = 45.52 light-minutes
     Magnitude: -2.0
     Apparent size: 36.08 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 74.36 degrees (evening sky)
     At 8:25pm Jupiter will be 19.5 above the south-southwest horizon
     No satellite events tonight
     Next transit of the Great Red Spot:  Friday Sep 21, 2007 at 9:37pm
     GRS longitude: 117.1
     There are no Jupiter moons events tonight (transits, eclipses or shadow transits)
This animated GIF of Jupiter and its four moons begins at 7:30pm EDT and runs until Jupiter
     is below the horizon.  You can read the altitude and azimuth in the caption below Jupiter.
     This image is neither inverted nor reversed and will look like this in binoculars or a non-inverting
     telescope.  Frames are 15 minutes apart.
     'Alt' is above the horizon, 'Az' is azimuth: 0 is north, 90 is east, 180 is south and 270 is west

     Similar to last week, not much motion of Jupiter's moons is seen throughout the evening.
     The apparent eastward (left) motion of Jupiter and its moons relative to the background
     stars is due to the combined motion of Jupiter and Earth in their orbits around the Sun.
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Saturn data:
     Rise: 4:56am
     Transit 11:44am (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 6:32pm
     Constellation: Leo
     Phase: 99.94% illuminated
     Distance: 10.12971131 AU = 1,515,383,243 km = 941,615,504 miles = 1.41 light-hours
     Magnitude: 0.7
     Apparent size: 16.41 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 26.28 degrees (morning sky)
     At 8:25pm Saturn will be 20 below the west-northwest horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Uranus data:
     Rise: 6:50pm
     Transit 0:33am Sep 22 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 6:17am Sep 22
     Constellation: Aquarius
     Phase: 100.00% illuminated
     Distance: 19.11208208 AU = 2,859,126,783 km = 1,776,579,040 miles = 2.65 light-hours
     Magnitude: 5.7
     Apparent size: 3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 167.55 degrees (evening sky)
     At 8:25pm Uranus will be 16 above the east-southeast horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Neptune data:
     Rise: 5:41pm
     Transit: 10:52pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 4:02am Sep 22
     Constellation: Capricornus
     Phase: 99.99% illuminated
     Distance: 29.25771892 AU = 4,376,892,451 km = 2,719,674,915 miles = 4.06 light-hours
     Magnitude: 7.9
     Apparent size: 2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 141.02 degrees (evening sky)
     At 8:25pm Neptune will be 24.1 above the southeast horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data:
     Rise: 2:04pm
     Transit 7:08pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)
     Set: 0:13am Sep 22
     Constellation: Sagittarius
     Phase: 99.97% illuminated
     Distance: 31.36968133 AU = 4,692,837,531 km = 2,915,994,088 miles = 4.35 light-hours
     Magnitude: 14.2
     Apparent size: 0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
     Elongation from Sun: 87.73 degrees (evening sky)
     At 8:25pm Pluto will be 29.4 above the south horizon
     (back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth

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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

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General Information you should know about our events - Q&A of Where, When and What

Very sincerely yours,
Dave Jessie
"Time spent observing the heavens is not deducted from your life span"

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