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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/22/2008

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Event report...


Amazing - three Fridays of good weather in a row!
We had a fantastic night of observing.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience...
and tonight, our patience rewarded us handsomely - again!
 

 

Tonight's event will feature a waning gibbous (nearly Third Quarter) Moon rising before midnight.  Until then, we'll 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.  As night falls, Jupiter's moon Io will be transiting the planet and Ganymede will be in eclipse behind Jupiter.  If we're lucky, we should be able to see Ganamede suddenly appear at 11:56pm.  See the details below under Jupiter.

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 8/22/08 at 9:17:20pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:39 20:16
  Mercury Leo -0.2 08:25 21:05
  Venus Leo -3.9 08:22 21:10
Mars   Virgo 1.7 09:23 21:33
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.6 17:36 02:53
  Saturn Leo 0.8 07:32 20:48
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 20:57 08:38
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 19:44 06:12
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.1 16:10 02:15
  Moon Aries -10.6 22:50 14:32

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 6: 39am
Transits: 1: 28pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 16pm
Constellation:   Leo
Distance:   1.01121417 AU = 151,275,487 km = 93,998,231 miles = 8.42 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.63 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

42pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

9:

17pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

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 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 10: 50pm
Transits: 6: 35am Aug 23 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 32am Aug 23
Constellation:   Aries
Phase:   60.58% illuminated (waning gibbous)
Distance:   0.00249431 AU = 373,144 km = 231,861 miles = 1.25 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.6
Apparent size:   32.01 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   102.08 degrees degrees (morning sky)
Age:   21.63 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Third Quarter Moon on Saturday Aug 23, 2008 at 7:50pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm the Moon will be 14.7 below the north-northeast horizon
but will look like this at 12:30am Saturday when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 8: 25am
Transits: 2: 46pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 05pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   79.71% illuminated
Distance:   1.21108813 AU = 181,176,206 km = 112,577,677 miles = 10.09 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.2
Apparent size:   5.55 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   20.88 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Mercury will be 3.3 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 8: 22am
Transits: 2: 46pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 10pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   93.58% illuminated
Distance:   1.57617594 AU = 235,792,564 km = 146,514,708 miles = 13.13 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   10.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   20.47 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Venus will be 2.5 below the west horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 23am
Transits: 3: 28pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 33pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   97.17% illuminated
Distance:   2.38201132 AU = 356,343,821 km = 221,421,788 miles = 19.84 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.93 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   32.03 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Mars will be 1.8 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: 5: 36pm
Transits: 10: 15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 53am Aug 23
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.48% illuminated
Distance:   4.42246541 AU = 661,591,409 km = 411,093,848 miles = 36.84 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.6
Apparent size:   45.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   132.65 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Jupiter will be 24.3 above the south-southeast horizon
Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday August 23, 2008 at 5:57am
GRS longitude: 124.8
Jupiter moons activity:
     Io shadow transit starts at 9:52pm
     Io transit ends at 11:09pm
     Ganymede comes out of eclipse at 11:56pm
     Io shadow transit ends at 12:09am

Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this at 9:17:20pm tonight...
Notice the GRS on Jupiter, Io transiting and Ganymede eclipsed and therefore invisible


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 7: 32am
Transits: 2: 10pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 48pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   10.32320758 AU = 1,544,329,872 km = 959,602,106 miles = 1.43 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   10.25 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Saturn will be 6.5 below the west horizon

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 8: 57pm
Transits: 2: 47am Aug 23 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 38am Aug 23
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   19.15205441 AU = 2,865,106,559 km = 1,780,294,701 miles = 2.66 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   158.80 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Uranus will be 2.6 above the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 7: 44pm
Transits: 12: 58am Aug 23 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 12am Aug 23
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.0346649 AU = 4,343,524,045 km = 2,698,940,748 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   172.33 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Neptune will be 14.5 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 4: 10pm
Transits: 9: 12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 15am Aug 23
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.02183433 AU = 4,640,800,361 km = 2,883,659,689 miles = 4.31 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   118.09 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/22/2008 at 9:17:20pm Pluto will be 31.6 above the south 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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