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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/08/2008

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Event report...


After many weeks of bad weather,
we finally had a fantastic night of observing.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience...
and tonight, our patience rewarded us handsomely!
 

 

The Moon is in the best phase for viewing detail on the terminator - the line separating lunar day from night.  It sets early enough to allow us to view deep sky objects without having to stay up too late.  Alas,  Saturn is no longer visible to us since it's lost in the glare of the setting sun.  However, 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.  Jupiter, the King of the planets, is a beautiful sight and now rises early enough for everyone to see.  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
8/08/08 at 9:40:22pm (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: 25am
Transits: 1: 31pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 36pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Distance:   1.01382339 AU = 151,665,820 km = 94,240,773 miles = 8.44 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.55 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

9:

04pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

9:

40pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

10:

21pm  - 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 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 2: 19pm
Transits: 7: 10pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 55pm
Constellation:   Libra
Phase:   52.10% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00267857 AU = 400,709 km = 248,989 miles = 1.34 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10,1
Apparent size:   29.81 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   92.26 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   7.64 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Saturday Aug 16, 2008 at 5:17pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm the Moon will be 17 above the south-southwest horizon
and will look like this...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 15am
Transits: 2: 13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 11pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   93.54% illuminated
Distance:   1.32960692 AU = 198,906,364 km = 123,594,686 miles = 11.07 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.0
Apparent size:   5.06 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   10.70 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Mercury will be 6.3 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 7: 49am
Transits: 2: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 25pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   95.69% illuminated
Distance:   1.62860479 AU = 243,635,809 km = 151,388,275 miles = 13.57 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   10.25 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   16.76 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Venus will be 3.8 below the west horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 34am
Transits: 3: 51pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 08pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   96.43% illuminated
Distance:   2.32587724 AU = 347,946,282 km = 216,203,799 miles = 19.37 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   4.02 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   36.62 (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Mars will be 4.2 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: 6: 35pm
Transits: 11: 14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 53am Aug 9
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.71% illuminated
Distance:   4.28615335 AU = 641,199,415 km = 398,422,850 miles = 35.7 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.6
Apparent size:   46.00 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   147.07 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Jupiter will be 22.2 above the southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday August 9, 2008 at 4:24am
GRS longitude: 124.5
Jupiter moons activity:
      None tonight
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 9:40:22pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 8: 18am
Transits: 2: 58pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 39pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.96% illuminated
Distance:   10.25896488 AU = 1,534,719,302 km = 953,630,374 miles = 1.42 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.20 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   21.90 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Saturn will be 1.4 below the west horizon

Saturn is gone for evening viewing this observing season - he will be missed!
 
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Uranus data
 
Rises: 9: 53pm
Transits: 3: 44am Aug 9 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 36am Aug 9
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   19.26016336 AU = 2,881,279,428 km = 1,790,344,056 miles = 2.67 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.66 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   144.89 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Uranus will be 3.6 below the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 8: 40pm
Transits: 1: 55am Aug 9 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 09am Aug 9
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.02931989 AU = 4,342,724,443 km = 2,698,443,898 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   173.83 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Neptune will be 9.2 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 5: 05pm
Transits: 10: 08pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 11am Aug 9
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.82184292 AU = 4,610,882,071 km = 2,865,069,326 miles = 4.28 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   131.57 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/08/2008 at 9:40:22pm Pluto will be 31.3 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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