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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 7/11/2008

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Event report...


The sky cleared, we set up equipment, people started to arrive and we had beautiful views for about two hours - then the sky totally clouded over.  At midnight, we decided to pack up the equipment and try another time.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience!
 

 

Tonight's event will feature a one day past First Quarter Moon which doesn't set until 1:25am Saturday morning.  This is a great opportunity to view detail near the terminator of our closest celestial neighbor.  We'll be able to see the beautiful planets Saturn and Jupiter, 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.  Saturn is beautiful beyond words!  If you've never seen Saturn through a telescope, you owe it to yourself to do so.  See it now while the rings are still visible - it is heading into the west earlier and earlier in the evening and in 2009, the rings will be edge-on and almost totally invisible.  It's said that one picture is worth a thousand words, but no picture can match the majesty of the real thing!  Jupiter clears the trees to the east of our observing field at a conveniently early hour now (see the Outer Solar System to see why this is so).

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
7/11/08 at 10:13:29pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon
  Sun
  Mercury
  Venus
Moon  
Mars  
Jupiter  
Saturn  
  Uranus
  Neptune
Pluto  

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 5: 59am
Transits: 1: 31pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 02pm
Constellation:   Gemini
Distance:   1.01659154 AU = 152,079,930 km = 94,498,089 miles = 8.47 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.47 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

9:

32pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:   10: 13pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:   11: 02pm  - Sun is 18 below the horizon
Fall Equinox:   Monday Sept 22, 2008 at 11:45am (when Fall 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)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 3: 28pm
Transits: 8: 30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 25am
Constellation:   Libra
Phase:   68.09% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00267741 AU = 400,535 km = 248,881 miles = 1.34 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.7
Apparent size:   29.82 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   111.08 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   9.00 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Friday July 18, 2008 at 3:59am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm the Moon will be 23.6 above the south-southwest horizon
and will look like this...


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Mercury data
 
Rises: 4: 39am
Transits: 12: 11pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 44pm
Constellation:   Gemini
Phase:   65.69% illuminated
Distance:   1.07068613 AU = 160,172,365 km = 99,526,495 miles = 8.92 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.6
Apparent size:   6.28 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   18.17 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Mercury will be 20.7 below the northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 6: 41am
Transits: 2: 10pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 38pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   99.73% illuminated
Distance:   1.70389035 AU = 254,898,368 km = 158,386,505 miles = 14.19 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the rising Sun)
Apparent size:   9.79 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   9.12 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Venus will be 6.7 below the west-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 55am
Transits: 4: 38pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 20pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   94.79% illuminated
Distance:   2.18083885 AU = 326,248,849 km = 202,721,639 miles = 18.17 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.29 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   46.13 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Mars will be 11.2 above the west horizon

No, Mars will *not be* "...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: 8: 37pm
Transits: 1: 18am July 12 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 59am July 12
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   4.16140626 AU = 622,537,515 km = 386,826,883 miles = 34.66 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.7
Apparent size:   47.37 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   176.98 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Jupiter will be 13.2 above the southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday July 12, 2008 at 1:21am
GRS longitude: 123.9
Jupiter moons activity:
      None tonight
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 10:17:31pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 9: 52am
Transits: 4: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 21pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.85% illuminated
Distance:   10.00277035 AU = 1,496,393,145 km = 929,815,604 miles = 1.39 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.61 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   45.48 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Saturn will be 11.5 above the west horizon

This is how Saturn and six of its brightest moons will look at 10:13pm.
This image is neither inverted nor reversed - Saturn would look like this in a non-inverting telescope.
 
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Uranus data
 
Rises: 11: 44am
Transits: 5: 37am July 12 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 29am July 12
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.95% illuminated
Distance:   19.60729874 AU = 2,933,210,141 km = 1,822,612,305 miles = 2.72 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   117.55 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Uranus will be 18.3 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 10: 32pm
Transits: 3: 48am July 12 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 03am July 12
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   29.18605695 AU = 4,366,171,974 km = 2,713,013,519 miles = 4.05 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   146.41 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Neptune will be 4.6 below the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 6: 57pm
Transits: 0: 01am July 12 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 04am July 12
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   30.54326757 AU = 4,569,207,792 km = 2,839,174,129 miles = 4.24 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   158.26 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/11/2008 at 10:13:29pm Pluto will be 26.6 above the 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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