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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/15/2008

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Event report...


Amazing - two Fridays of good weather in a row!
We had a fantastic night of observing.  Jupiter's moon,
Io, kept us enthralled with its motion across the surface
of Jupiter followed by its shadow.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience...
and tonight, our patience rewarded us handsomely - again!
 

 

Tonight's event will, again, be somewhat limited by the full Moon the entire night.  Despite the brightness of the moon, we will be able to see 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.  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
8/15/08 at 9:29:08pm (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: 32am
Transits: 1: 30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 27pm
Constellation:   Leo
Distance:   1.01258081 AU = 151,479,933 km = 94,125,268 miles = 8.43 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.59 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

53pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

9:

29pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

10:

08pm  - 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 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 7: 50pm
Transits: 12: 58am Aug 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 16am Aug 16
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.32% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00261107 AU = 390,610 km = 242,714 miles = 1.30 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -12.5
Apparent size:   30.58 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   170.50 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   14.64 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 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm the Moon will be 14.3 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 53am
Transits: 2: 33pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 11pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   86.70% illuminated
Distance:   1.2799471 AU = 191,477,361 km = 118,978,518 miles = 10.66 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.5
Apparent size:   5.25 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   16.37 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Mercury will be 4.4 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 8: 05am
Transits: 2: 42pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 18pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   94.68% illuminated
Distance:   1.603493 AU = 239,879,138 km = 149,053,988 miles = 13.36 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   10.41 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   18.63 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Venus will be 3.1 below the west horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 28am
Transits: 3: 40pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 50pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   96.80% illuminated
Distance:   2.3552933 AU = 352,346,863 km = 218,938,193 miles = 19.62 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.97 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   34.31 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Mars will be 2.9 above the west-southwest 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: 05pm
Transits: 10: 44pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 23am Aug 16
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.60% illuminated
Distance:   4.34906248 AU = 650,610,486 km = 404,270,618 miles = 36.22 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.6
Apparent size:   45.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   139.80 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Jupiter will be 23.4 above the south-southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday August 16, 2008 at 5:10am
GRS longitude: 124.7
Jupiter moons activity:
      Io shadow transit ends at 10:13pm
Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 9:40:22pm tonight...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 7: 55am
Transits: 2: 34pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 13pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   10.29676021 AU = 1,540,373,402 km = 957,143,669 miles = 1.43 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.14 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   16.06 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Saturn will be 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: 25pm
Transits: 3: 16am Aug 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 07am Aug 16
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   19.19977673 AU = 2,872,245,716 km = 1,784,730,767 miles = 2.67 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.83 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Uranus will be 0.4 below the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 8: 12pm
Transits: 1: 27am Aug 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 41am Aug 16
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.02482595 AU = 4,342,052,159 km = 2,698,026,161 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   179.18 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Neptune will be 11.9 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 4: 37pm
Transits: 9: 40pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 43am Aug 16
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   30.91780825 AU = 4,625,238,281 km = 2,873,989,861 miles = 4.29 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   124.84 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/15/2008 at 9:29:08pm Pluto will be 31.5 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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