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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/01/2008

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Event report...


We were forced to cancel this observing event at 9:30pm when lightning appeared from two directions.
We'll try again next Friday.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience!
 

 

The Moon is nowhere to be seen tonight - a tiny crescent Moon sets at 9:02pm this evening and rises after the Sun tomorrow.  No Moon means EVERYTHING will be available to us - 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!  Tonight will probably be the very last chance to see Saturn until next year since it will soon be lost in the glare of the Sun due to the Earth's rotation around the Sun.  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.

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
8/01/08 at 9:50:44pm (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: 18am
Transits: 1: 32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 45pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Distance:   1.01487198 AU = 151,822,687 km = 94,338,245 miles = 8.45 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.52 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

9:

13pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

9:

51pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

10:

33pm  - 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 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 6: 22am
Transits: 1: 49pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 02pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   0.53% illuminated (waxing crescent)
Distance:   0.00248292 AU = 371,439 km = 230,801 miles = 1.24 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -4.5
Apparent size:   32.16 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   8.30 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   0.65 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   First Quarter on Friday Aug 8, 2008 at 4:20pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm the Moon will be 9.4 below the west-northwest horizon
but will look like this prior to setting at 9:02pm...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 6: 30am
Transits: 1: 47pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 02pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   98.92% illuminated
Distance:   1.34801911 AU = 201,660,788 km = 125,306,206 miles = 11.23 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.7
Apparent size:   4.99 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   4.01 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Mercury will be 8.9 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 7: 32am
Transits: 2: 32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 31pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   96.61% illuminated
Distance:   1.65131921 AU = 247,033,837 km = 153,499,712 miles = 13.75 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the rising Sun)
Apparent size:   10.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   14.87 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Venus will be 4.5 below the west-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 39am
Transits: 4: 03pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 26pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   96.03% illuminated
Distance:   2.29369096 AU = 343,131,283 km = 213,211,897 miles = 19.11 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.08 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   38.95 (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Mars will be 5.6 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: 05pm
Transits: 11: 44pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 24am Aug 2
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.82% illuminated
Distance:   4.23496992 AU = 633,542,482 km = 393,665,052 miles = 35.27 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.7
Apparent size:   46.55 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   154.44 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Jupiter will be 20.7 above the southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday August 2, 2008 at 3:38am
GRS longitude: 124.3
Jupiter moons activity:
      None tonight
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 9:50:44pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 8: 41am
Transits: 3: 23pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 04pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.94% illuminated
Distance:   10.21012804 AU = 1,527,413,414 km = 949,090,706 miles = 1.42 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.28 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   27.76 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Saturn will be 1.4 above the west horizon - too low to observe.

This is how Saturn and five of its brightest moons will look at 9:50:44pm.
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: 21pm
Transits: 4: 13am Aug 2 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 04am Aug 2
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   19.33232333 AU = 2,892,074,405 km = 1,797,051,744 miles = 2.68 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.65 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   138.00 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Uranus will be 6.9 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 9: 08pm
Transits: 2: 23am Aug 2 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 38am Aug 2
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.04810016 AU = 4,345,533,932 km = 2,700,189,634 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   166.95 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Neptune will be 6.2 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 5: 33pm
Transits: 10: 36pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 39am Aug 2
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.73524839 AU = 4,597,927,714 km = 2,857,019,861 miles = 4.27 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   138.30 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/01/2008 at 9:50:44pm Pluto will be 30.7 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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