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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 5/30/2008

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Event report: Heavy cloud cover and high probability of rain prevented this event from taking place.

 

Tonight's event will feature a moonless sky for us since it doesn't rise until 3:13am Saturday.  We'll have the beautiful planet Saturn, colorful double stars, open clusters made up of hundreds of stars, globular clusters comprised of hundreds of thousands of stars, planetary nebula formed by dying stars, diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born, and galaxies galore in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster will all be available to us the entire night.  Springtime is the best time to observe galaxies since the Milky Way, the galaxy in which we live, is not directly overhead.  We're able to look out to the universe and not be blocked by the dust and gas in our own galaxy.  Also, Saturn is beautiful beyond words!  If you've never seen Saturn through a telescope, you owe it to yourself to do so.  It's said that one picture is worth a thousand words, but no picture can match the majesty of the real thing!

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 fourteenth 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
5/30/08 at 10:05:43pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon
  Sun
  Mercury
  Venus
  Moon
(rises at 3:13am Saturday)
Mars  
  Jupiter
Saturn  
  Uranus
  Neptune
Pluto  

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 5: 52am
Transits: 1: 23pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 54pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Distance:   1.01396787 AU = 151,687,435 km = 94,254,204 miles = 8.45 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.55 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...    
Civil:   9:24pm - Sun is 6 below the horizon
Nautical:   10:06pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:   10:54pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon
Summer Solstice:   Friday Jun 20, 2008 at 8:00pm (when summer 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 10:05:43pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 3: 13am May 31
Transits: 10: 14am May 31 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 28pm May 31
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   19.71% illuminated (waning crescent)
Distance:   0.00248352 AU = 371,530 km = 230,858 miles = 1.24 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -8.5
Apparent size:   32.15 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   52.60 degrees (morning sky)
Age:   25.57 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   New Moon on Tuesday June 3, 2008 at 3:23pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
At 10:05:43pm the Moon will be 38.6 below the north horizon but will look like this at 4:00am Saturday...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 6: 41am
Transits: 2: 11pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 41pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   4.53% illuminated
Distance:   0.57877843 AU = 86,584,021 km = 53,800,817 miles = 4.82 light-minutes
Magnitude:   3.5
Apparent size:   11.62 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   10.85 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Tuesday, July 01, 2008 (21 47' 03")
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
At 10:05:43pm Mercury will be 4.9 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 5: 46am
Transits: 1: 12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 39pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   99.91% illuminated
Distance:   1.73312966 AU = 259,272,507 km = 161,104,469 miles = 14.44 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the rising Sun)
Apparent size:   9.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   2.48 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
At 10:05:43pm Venus will be 13.9 below the northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 10: 33am
Transits: 5: 48pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 03am May 31
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   92.20% illuminated
Distance:   1.88565854 AU = 282,090,503 km = 175,282,914 miles = 15.71 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.5 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.96 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   61.68 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
At 10:05:43pm Mars will be 31.3 above the west-southwest horizon

No, Mars was *not* "...as big as a Full Moon on August 27!"
Please see the following links for more information about this annual 'Mars Hoax'
    Sky & Telescope article
    Snopes.com article
    Hoax-slayer article
    Universe Today article

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Jupiter data
 
Rises: 11: 38pm
Transits: 4: 22am May 31 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 06am May 31
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.58% illuminated
Distance:   4.39065239 AU = 656,832,249 km = 408,136,643 miles = 36.57 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.6
Apparent size:   44.90 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   138.37 degrees (morning sky)
At 10:05:43pm Jupiter will be 17.4 below the east horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot:  Saturday May 31, 2008 6:45am
GRS longitude: 122.7
Jupiter moons activity:
     Europa occultation ends at 11:08pm
     Io occultation ends at 11:19pm
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 3:00am Saturday.


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 12: 21pm
Transits: 7: 10pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 59am May 31
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.71% illuminated
Distance:   9.38708717 AU = 1,404,288,252 km = 872,584,276 miles = 1.3 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.7
Apparent size:   17.70 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   82.35 degrees (evening sky)
At 10:05:43pm Saturn will be 42 above the southwest horizon

This is how Saturn and five of its brightest moons will look at 10:06pm.
This image is neither inverted nor reversed - Saturn would look like this in a non-inverting telescope.
Note that Saturn's moon Tethys is currently being occulted by the planet - indicated by the orange color
in the image.  It will come out of Saturn's shadow at 10:56:05pm tonight.


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Uranus data
 
Rises: 2: 29am May 31
Transits: 8: 21am May 31 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 136pm May 31
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.94% illuminated
Distance:   20.28993988 AU = 3,035,331,802 km = 1,886,067,764 miles = 2.82 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.9
Apparent size:   3.47 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   77.64 degrees (morning sky)
At 10:05:43pm Uranus will be 46 below the north-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 1: 19am May 31
Transits: 6: 35am May 31 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 51am May 31
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   29.74782258 AU = 4,450,210,915 km = 2,765,232,897 miles = 4.13 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.30 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   105.76 degrees (morning sky)
At 10:05:43pm Neptune will be 37.1 below the east-northeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 9: 47pm
Transits: 2: 50am May 31 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 54am May 31
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   30.52209403 AU = 4,566,040,276 km = 2,837,205,926 miles = 4.24 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   158.71 degrees (morning sky)
At 10:05:43pm Pluto will be 2.1 above the east-southeast horizon

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)

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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)

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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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