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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 9/05/2008

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Event report...

This event has been cancelled due to heavy cloud cover
and threat of rain.  We'll try again next Friday 9/12/08.
If amateur astronomy teaches anything, it's patience!
 

 

The Moon is in the best phase for viewing detail on the terminator - the line separating lunar day from night.  It sets early enough (10:28pm) to allow us to view deep sky objects without having to stay up too late.  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.  With a high-power view through the telescopes, detail in the cloud bands of Jupiter will be possible, and the four Galilean moons actually appear as disks instead of just point light sources.  Uranus and Neptune are visible now as well and appear as small bluish-green 'large' stars in our telescopes.

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 9/05/08 at 8:52:16pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:53 19:54
  Mercury Virgo 0.1 09:10 20:44
  Venus Virgo -3.9 08:54 20:52
  Mars Virgo 1.7 09:14 20:57
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.5 16:39 01:56
  Saturn Leo 0.8 06:46 19:57
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 20:01 07:40
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 18:48 05:15
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 15:15 01:20
Moon   Libra -9.3 13:08 22:28

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 6: 53am
Transits: 1: 24pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 54pm
Constellation:   Leo
Distance:   1.00798673 AU = 150,792,669 km = 93,698,222 miles = 8.4 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.73 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

19pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

8:

52pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

27pm  - 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 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 1: 08pm
Transits: 5: 50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 28pm
Constellation:   Libra
Phase:   35.38% illuminated (waxing crescent)
Distance:   0.00268229 AU = 401,265 km = 249,335 miles = 1.34 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -9.3
Apparent size:   31.69 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   72.85 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   6.20 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   First Quarter on Sunday Sept 7, 2008 at 10:04am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm the Moon will be 11.9 above the south-southwest horizon
and will look like this...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 9: 10am
Transits: 2: 57pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 44pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   64.01% illuminated
Distance:   1.03391125 AU = 154,670,922 km = 96,108,056 miles = 8.61 light-minutes
Magnitude:   0.1
Apparent size:   6.51 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   26.34 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Mercury will be 2.7 below the west-southwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 8: 54am
Transits: 2: 54pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 52pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   91.13% illuminated
Distance:   1.5153344 AU = 226,690,799 km = 140,859,134 miles = 12.62 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   11.01 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   24.08 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Venus will be 1.2 below the west-southwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 14am
Transits: 3: 06pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 57pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   97.84% illuminated
Distance:   2.42728504 AU = 363,116,674 km = 225,630,243 miles = 20.22 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.85 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   27.52 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Mars will be 0.1 below 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

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Jupiter data
 
Rises: 4: 39pm
Transits: 9: 18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 56am Sept 6
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.26% illuminated
Distance:   4.59558288 AU = 687,489,413 km = 427,186,122 miles = 38.28 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.5
Apparent size:   42.90 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   118.72 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Jupiter will be 25.4 above the south-southeast horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Tonight at 9:36pm
GRS longitude: 125.1
Jupiter moons activity - LOTS tonight!
     Ganymede occultation begins at 11:57pm
     Io transit begins at 12:33am Sep 6
     Io shadow transit begins at 1:43am Sep 6
     Io transit ends at 2:49am Sep 6

Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this...


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 6: 46am
Transits: 1: 21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 57pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   10.34084476 AU = 1,546,968,357 km = 961,241,584 miles = 1.44 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   16.07 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   2.35 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Saturn will be 11.1 below the west horizon

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 8: 01pm
Transits: 1: 50am Sept 6 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 40am Sept 6
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   19.0977542 AU = 2,856,983,363 km = 1,775,247,181 miles = 2.65 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   172.82 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Uranus will be 8.4 above the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 6: 48pm
Transits: 12: 02am Sept 6 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 15am Sept 6
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.0969918 AU = 4,352,848,017 km = 2,704,734,396 miles = 4.04 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   158.45 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Neptune will be 19.1 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 3: 15pm
Transits: 8: 17pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 20am Sept 6
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.24854144 AU = 4,674,715,261 km = 2,904,733,431 miles = 4.34 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   104.59 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/5/2008 at 8:52:16pm Pluto will be 30.9 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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