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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 7/25/2008

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Event report...


The sky looked promising. We set the equipment up and started observing, 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 feature a Third Quarter Moon rising after midnight.  Until then, 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.  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, the King of the planets, is also a beautiful sight and now rises early enough for everyone to see.  This is an ideal time to view Jupiter.  It reached opposition on July 9th and is still nearly as close to us as it 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.  Saturn won't be visible to us much longer...the Earth orbiting around the Sun on a more inside track is causing it to set earlier each night.  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
7/25/08 at 9:59:48pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon
  Sun
  Mercury
  Venus
  Moon
(rises at 12:13am Saturday)
Mars  
Jupiter  
Saturn  
  Uranus
  Neptune
Pluto  

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 6: 11am
Transits: 1: 32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 52pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Distance:   1.0156532 AU = 151,939,556 km = 94,410,864 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.49 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

9:

21pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

10:

00pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

10:

44pm  - 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 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 12: 13am July 26
Transits: 7: 43am July 26 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 27am July 26
Constellation:   Aries
Phase:   46.51% illuminated (waning crescent)
Distance:   0.00264498 AU = 395,683 km = 245,866 miles = 1.32 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.0
Apparent size:   31.94 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   185.86 degrees (morning sky)
Age:   22.99 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   New Moon on Friday Aug 1, 2008 at 6:13am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm the Moon will be 20.7 below the north-northeast horizon
but will look like this when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field...


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Mercury data
 
Rises: 5: 42am
Transits: 1: 13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 43pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   98.32% illuminated
Distance:   1.31548134 AU = 196,793,207 km = 122,281,631 miles = 10.96 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.8
Apparent size:   5.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   4.55 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Mercury will be 12.5 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 7: 14am
Transits: 2: 25pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 36pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   97.42% illuminated
Distance:   1.6714711 AU = 250,048,517 km = 155,372,947 miles = 13.92 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the rising Sun)
Apparent size:   9.98 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   12.97 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Venus will be 5.1 below the west-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 44am
Transits: 4: 14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 44pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   95.63% illuminated
Distance:   2.25872776 AU = 337,900,864 km = 209,961,865 miles = 18.81 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.14 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   41.31 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Mars will be 7.2 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: 7: 35pm
Transits: 0: 15am July 26 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 55am July 26
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.91% illuminated
Distance:   4.19664318 AU = 627,808,884 km = 390,102,360 miles = 34.96 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.7
Apparent size:   46.98 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   161.91 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Jupiter will be 18.7 above the southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday July 26, 2008 at 2:52am
GRS longitude: 124.2
Jupiter moons activity:
      None tonight
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 9:58:39pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 9: 05am
Transits: 3: 47pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 30pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.91% illuminated
Distance:   10.15069436 AU = 1,518,522,262 km = 943,566,000 miles = 1.41 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.37 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   33.63 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Saturn will be 4.5 above the west horizon - almost too low to observe.

This is how Saturn and five of its brightest moons will look at 9:58:39pm.
This image is neither inverted nor reversed - Saturn would look like this in a non-inverting telescope.

 
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Uranus data
 
Rises: 10: 49pm
Transits: 4: 41am July 26 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 33am July 26
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.96% illuminated
Distance:   19.41514441 AU = 2,904,464,263 km = 1,804,750,444 miles = 2.70 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   131.14 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Uranus will be 10.5 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 9: 36pm
Transits: 2: 51am July 26 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 06am July 26
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.08090788 AU = 4,350,441,897 km = 2,703,239,302 miles = 4.04 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   160.08 degrees (morning sky)
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Neptune will be 2.9 below the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 6: 01pm
Transits: 11: 04pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 07am July 26
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.65930145 AU = 4,586,566,213 km = 2,849,960,152 miles = 4.26 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   145.01 degrees (evening sky)
On 7/25/2008 at 9:59:48pm Pluto will be 29.8 above the south-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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