Click here for a Printer-Friendly version

Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/29/2008

Be sure to hit the REFRESH button on your browser
(or the <F5> key on your keyboard) for up-to-date information

 


Event report...

We were forced to cancel this observing event at 7:45pm
due to heavy cloud cover and threat of thunderstorms.

We'll try again next Friday.
 

 

Once a month we have a dark Moon-free Friday night and tonight's the night!  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 really going to be putting on a show for us tonight - lots of moon activity!  Should be 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, Ganymede will be moving behind Jupiter followed by Callisto two hours later at which point Ganymede will reappear from behind on the other side.  Just prior to these events, Io will begin to move across the face of Jupiter followed an hour later by its tiny shadow!  After midnight, Ganymede will seemingly disappear into thin air (!) as it is eclipsed by Jupiter.  See all the details below under Jupiter as well as an animation showing these events.  This is an unusual number of dissimilar events occurring in a relatively brief period of time!

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 8/29/08 at 9:04:57pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:46 20:05
  Mercury Virgo -0.0 08:51 20:56
  Venus Virgo -3.9 08:38 21:01
Mars   Virgo 1.7 09:19 21:15
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.5 17:07 02:25
  Saturn Leo 0.8 07:09 20:22
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 20:29 08:09
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 19:16 05:44
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.1 15:42 01:47
  Moon Leo -4.6 05:16 19:29

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 6: 46am
Transits: 1: 26pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 05pm
Constellation:   Leo
Distance:   1.00969864 AU = 151,048,766 km = 93,857,353 miles = 8.41 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.68 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

31pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

9:

05pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

41pm  - 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 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Moon data
 
Rises: 5: 16am
Transits: 12: 29pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 29pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   0.84% illuminated (waning crescent)
Distance:   0.00251941 AU = 376,899 km = 234,194 miles = 1.26 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -4.6
Apparent size:   31.69 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   10.50 degrees degrees (morning sky)
Age:   28.62 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   New Moon on Saturday Aug 30, 2008 at 3:58pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm the Moon will be 17.3 below the west-northwest horizon
but will look like this at 6:26pm this evening just 10 degrees ahead of the Sun...

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mercury data
 
Rises: 8: 51am
Transits: 2: 54pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 56pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   72.40% illuminated
Distance:   1.128415 AU = 168,808,481 km = 104,892,728 miles = 9.4 light-minutes
Magnitude:   0.0
Apparent size:   5.96 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   24.24 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Mercury will be 2.7 below the west horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Venus data
 
Rises: 8: 38am
Transits: 2: 50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 01pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   92.40% illuminated
Distance:   1.54677061 AU = 231,393,589 km = 143,781,312 miles = 12.88 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   10.79 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   22.29 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Venus will be 1.8 below the west horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 19am
Transits: 3: 17pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 15pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   97.51% illuminated
Distance:   2.40603373 AU = 359,937,523 km = 223,654,811 miles = 20.04 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.89 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   29.77 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Mars will be 0.8 above the west-southwest horizon

No, Mars was *not "...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

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Jupiter data
 
Rises: 5: 07pm
Transits: 9: 46pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 25am Aug 30
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.36% illuminated
Distance:   4.50511124 AU = 673,955,049 km = 418,776,258 miles = 37.52 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.5
Apparent size:   43.76 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   125.62 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Jupiter will be 25 above the south-southeast horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday August 30, 2008 at 6:44am
GRS longitude: 125.0
Jupiter moons activity - LOTS tonight!
     Io transit starts at 10:42pm
     Callisto occultation starts at 11:16pm
     Ganymede occultation ends at 11:32pm
     Io shadow transit starts at 11:47pm
     Ganymede eclipse starts at 12:37am Saturday
     Io transit ends at 12:58am Saturday
     Io shadow transit ends at 2:04am Saturday
     Callisto occultation ends at 2:54am Saturday

Animation of Jupiter and its four visible moons...
Frames are 15 minutes apart starting at 6:45pm and running until Jupiter has nearly set.


(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Saturn data
 
Rises: 7: 09am
Transits: 1: 45pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 22pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   10.33799039 AU = 1,546,541,350 km = 960,976,254 miles = 1.44 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.08 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   4.56 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Saturn will be 8.8 below the west horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Uranus data
 
Rises: 8: 29pm
Transits: 2: 19am Aug 30 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 09am Aug 30
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   19.11781376 AU = 2,859,984,230 km = 1,777,111,833 miles = 2.65 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   165.80 degrees (morning sky)
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Uranus will be 5.5 above the east horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Neptune data
 
Rises: 7: 16pm
Transits: 12: 30am Aug 30 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 44am Aug 30
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.0587995 AU = 4,347,134,530 km = 2,701,184,199 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   165.40 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Neptune will be 16.9 above the east-southeast horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 3: 42pm
Transits: 8: 45pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 47am Aug 30
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.13258804 AU = 4,657,368,880 km = 2,893,954,890 miles = 4.32 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   111.35 degrees (evening sky)
On 8/29/2008 at 9:04:57pm Pluto will be 31.4 above the south horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)

(back to 'Quick Links')
 

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)

(back to 'Quick Links')
 

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

(back to 'Quick Links')

Back to home page