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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 9/12/2008

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Event report...

This event was cancelled due to heavy rain and
cloud cover.  We'll try again next Friday 9/19/08.
 

 

Tonight's event will be somewhat limited by the nearly 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.  Uranus and Neptune are visible now as well and appear as small bluish-green 'large' stars in our telescopes.  And, for a special treat, we'll be able to watch the Moon occulting Neptune at 8:43:36pm tonight and reemerge from the bright side at 9:48:05pm.  How better to actually observe the solar system behaving as it has for eons?

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 9/12/08 at 8:39:36pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 07:00 19:42
  Mercury Virgo 0.2 09:22 20:28
  Venus Virgo -3.9 09:11 20:43
  Mars Virgo 1.7 09:10 20:40
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.4 16:12 01:29
  Saturn Leo 0.9 06:23 19:31
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 19:32 07:11
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 18:20 04:47
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 14:47 00:52
Moon   Capricornus -12.0 18:17 05:06

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 7: 00am
Transits: 1: 21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 42pm
Constellation:   Leo
Distance:   1.00614183 AU = 150,516,675 km = 93,526,727 miles = 8.38 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.79 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

07pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

8:

40pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

13pm  - 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 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 6: 17pm
Transits: 11: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 06am Sep 13
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   93.88% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.0025821 AU = 386,277 km = 240,021 miles = 1.29 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -12.0
Apparent size:   30.92 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.28 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   13.20 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Monday Sept 15, 2008 at 5:13am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT


Unusual event!
 

 
The dark crescent (left) side of the Moon will occult the 7.8mag planet
Neptune at 8:43:36pm tonight and reemerge from the bright (right) side
at 9:48:05pm as the Moon moves eastward on its orbit around the earth.
 
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm the Moon will be 21.1 above the east-southeast horizon and will look like this.
Computer-generated image on the left shows Neptune about to be occulted by the Moon.  The image on
the right shows Neptune re-appearing from the bright side of the Moon a little over an hour later.

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 9: 22am
Transits: 2: 55pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 28pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   53.40% illuminated
Distance:   0.92904637 AU = 138,983,359 km = 86,360,257 miles = 7.74 light-minutes
Magnitude:   0.2
Apparent size:   7.24 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   26.79 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Mercury will be 3.2 below the west-southwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 9: 11am
Transits: 2: 57pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 43pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   89.79% illuminated
Distance:   1.48200898 AU = 221,705,387 km = 137,761,342 miles = 12.34 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   11.26 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   25.84 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Venus will be 0.5 below the west-southwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 10am
Transits: 2: 55pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 40pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   98.15% illuminated
Distance:   2.44578966 AU = 365,884,926 km = 227,350,356 miles = 20.37 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.83 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   25.30 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Mars will be 0.9 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: 12pm
Transits: 8: 50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 29am Sep 13
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.17% illuminated
Distance:   4.6923188 AU = 701,960,901 km = 436,178,287 miles = 39.08 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.4
Apparent size:   42.01 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   111.96 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Jupiter will be 25.6 above the south-southeast horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Tonight at 10:23pm
GRS longitude: 125.3
Jupiter moons activity:
     None tonight

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


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 6: 22am
Transits: 12: 57pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 31pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   10.33174395 AU = 1,545,606,896 km = 960,395,612 miles = 1.43 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.9
Apparent size:   16.09 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   7.75 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Saturn will be 13.3 below the west-northwest horizon

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 7: 32pm
Transits: 1: 22am Sep 13 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 11am Sep 13
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   19.09223685 AU = 2,856,157,980 km = 1,774,734,311 miles = 2.65 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   179.19 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Uranus will be 11.2 above the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 6: 20pm
Transits: 11: 34pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 47am Sep 13
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   29.14865532 AU = 4,360,576,769 km = 2,709,536,820 miles = 4.05 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.49 degrees (evening sky)


Unusual event!
 

  Neptune will disappear behind the dark (left) edge of the Moon at 8:43:36pm tonight and reemerge from the bright (right) side at 9:48:05pm (see Moon for computer-generated images of how this will appear from our location)
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Neptune will be 21.2 above the east-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 2: 47pm
Transits: 7: 50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 52am Sep 13
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   31.36802367 AU = 4,692,589,549 km = 2,915,839,999 miles = 4.35 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   97.84 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/12/2008 at 8:39:36pm Pluto will be 30.3 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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