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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 7/18/2008

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Event report...


The sky wasn't looking too promising, we had the equipment ready to set up, but gave up when clouds totally obscured
the sky.  We'll try again next Friday.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience!
 

 

Tonight's event will, again, be somewhat limited by a nearly full Moon the entire night.  We will 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.  Unfortunately, the planetary nebula formed by dying stars, diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born, and galaxies will be rendered invisible to us by the brightness of the full Moon.  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!  Jupiter is visible, if you stay after midnight when it will be high enough to clear the trees to our east.  This is an ideal time to view Jupiter.  It reached opposition on July 9th and is still about as close to us as it ever gets.  With a high-power view through the telescopes, details in the cloud bands is possible, and the four Galilean moons actually appear as disks instead of just point light sources.  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
7/18/08 at 10:07:35pm (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: 6: 05am
Transits: 1: 32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 58pm
Constellation:   Gemini
Distance:   1.01620892 AU = 152,022,691 km = 94,462,522 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.48 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

9:

27pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:   10: 08pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:   10: 54pm  - 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 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 9: 19pm
Transits: 2: 16am July 19 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 21am July 19
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.36% illuminated (waning gibbous)
Distance:   0.00264498 AU = 395,683 km = 245,866 miles = 1.32 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -12.4
Apparent size:   30.19 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   170.78 degrees (morning sky)
Age:   15.99 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Last Quarter Moon on Friday July 25, 2008 at 2:42pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm the Moon will be 6.2 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this...


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Mercury data
 
Rises: 5: 02am
Transits: 12: 38pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 14pm
Constellation:   Gemini
Phase:   86.20% illuminated
Distance:   1.21771783 AU = 182,167,994 km = 113,193,945 miles = 10.14 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.2
Apparent size:   5.52 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   12.13 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Mercury will be 16.6 below the northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 6: 57am
Transits: 2: 18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 38pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   98.13% illuminated
Distance:   1.68901164 AU = 252,672,545 km = 157,003,442 miles = 14.07 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the rising Sun)
Apparent size:   9.88 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   11.05 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Venus will be 5.9 below the west-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 50am
Transits: 4: 26pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 02pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   95.21% illuminated
Distance:   2.22109711 AU = 332,271,398 km = 206,463,877 miles = 18.5 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.21 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   43.71 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Mars will be 9.1 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: 06pm
Transits: 0: 46am July 19 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 27am July 19
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   4.16140626 AU = 622,537,515 km = 386,826,883 miles = 34.66 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.7
Apparent size:   47.25 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   169.43 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Jupiter will be 16.2 above the southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday July 19, 2008 at 2:06am
GRS longitude: 124.0
Jupiter moons activity:
      None tonight
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 10:07:35pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 9: 28am
Transits: 4: 12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 55pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.88% illuminated
Distance:   10.08134062 AU = 1,508,147,090 km = 937,119,167 miles = 1.4 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.49 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   39.54 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Saturn will be 7.8 above the west horizon

This is how Saturn and five of its brightest moons will look at 10:07pm.
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: 17pm
Transits: 5: 09am July 19 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 01am July 19
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.96% illuminated
Distance:   19.50725971 AU = 2,918,244,516 km = 1,813,313,097 miles = 2.71 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.61 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   124.33 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Uranus will be 14.2 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 10: 04pm
Transits: 3: 19am July 19 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 35am July 19
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   29.12714254 AU = 4,357,358,503 km = 2,707,537,082 miles = 4.04 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   153.23 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Neptune will be 0.6 below the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 6: 29pm
Transits: 11: 32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 36am July 19
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.59504473 AU = 4,576,953,545 km = 2,843,987,117 miles = 4.25 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.68 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/18/2008 at 10:07:35pm Pluto will be 28.4 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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