Click here for a Printer-Friendly version

Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 9/19/2008

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

 


Event report...


Thin (and often thick) cirrus clouds were with us all evening limiting the number of viewable objects, but we had a
very nice time seeing what we could and discussing astronomy, equipment and observing techniques.
 

 

On schedule for tonight, we have a nearly third-quarter Moon clearing the trees to the east of the observing field at around 11:00pm.  What makes this so special?  As it rises, the Moon will be nestled in the arms of the Pleiades cluster - a beautiful sight!  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.

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 9/19/08 at 8:27:04pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:07 19:30
  Mercury Virgo 0.5 09:20 20:08
Venus   Virgo -3.9 09:27 20:34
  Mars Virgo 1.7 09:06 20:23
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.4 15:45 01:02
  Saturn Leo 0.9 05:59 19:06
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 19:04 06:43
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 17:52 04:19
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 14:20 00:24
  Moon Taurus -11.2 21:32 13:35

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 7: 07am
Transits: 1: 19pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 30pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Distance:   1.00425568 AU = 150,234,512 km = 93,351,399 miles = 8.36 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.85 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

7:

55pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

8:

27pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

00pm  - 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 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Moon data
 
Rises: 9: 32pm
Transits: 5: 29am Sep 20 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 35pm Sep 20
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   74.08% illuminated (waning gibbous)
Distance:   0.00247319 AU = 369,984 km = 229,897 miles = 1.24 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -11.2
Apparent size:   32.29 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   118.66 degrees (morning sky)
Age:   20.19 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Last Quarter on Monday Sept 22, 2008 at 1:05am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT

Special event!

 
When the Moon rises, it will be occulting the Pleiades Cluster in Taurus - a beautiful sight!
 
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm the Moon will be 10.5 below the north-northeast horizon

When the Moon clears the trees to the east of the observing field at approximately 11:00pm, it will look like this.  Notice the rich star-field behind and surrounding the Moon.  These stars are members of the Pleiades, a rich open cluster of stars approximately 380 light-years distant - almost ten billion times farther away from us than the Moon!

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mercury data
 
Rises: 9: 20am
Transits: 2: 44pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 08pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   39.08% illuminated
Distance:   0.81819145 AU = 122,399,698 km = 76,055,647 miles = 6.82 light-minutes
Magnitude:   0.5
Apparent size:   8.22 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   24.73 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
Evening:   Thursday, September 11, 2008 (26 52' 17")
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Mercury will be 4.6 below the west-southwest horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Venus data
 
Rises: 9: 27am
Transits: 3: 01pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 34pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   88.38% illuminated
Distance:   1.44698713 AU = 216,466,193 km = 134,505,858 miles = 12.05 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -3.9 (bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   11.53 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   27.57 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Venus will be 0.3 above the west-southwest horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mars data
 
Rises: 9: 06am
Transits: 2: 45pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 23pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   98.44% illuminated
Distance:   2.4616525 AU = 368,257,972 km = 228,824,898 miles = 20.5 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.7 (getting dimmer)
Apparent size:   3.80 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   23.10 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Mars will be 1.8 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

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Jupiter data
 
Rises: 3: 45pm
Transits: 8: 24pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 02am Sep 20
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.11% illuminated
Distance:   4.79383329 AU = 717,147,253 km = 445,614,649 miles = 39.93 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.4
Apparent size:   41.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   105.33 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Jupiter will be 25.7 above the south horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Tonight at 11:11pm
GRS longitude: 125.4
Jupiter moons activity:
     None tonight

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


(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Saturn data
 
Rises: 5: 59am
Transits: 12: 33pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 06pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   10.31080285 AU = 1,542,474,151 km = 958,449,014 miles = 1.43 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.9
Apparent size:   16.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   13.61 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Saturn will be 15.6 below the west-northwest horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Uranus data
 
Rises: 7: 04pm
Transits: 0: 53am Sep 20 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 42am Sep 20
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   19.10134812 AU = 2,857,521,006 km = 1,775,581,257 miles = 2.65 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   172.92 degrees (morning sky)
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Uranus will be 14 above the east horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Neptune data
 
Rises: 5: 52pm
Transits: 11: 05pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 19am Sep 20
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   29.21300932 AU = 4,370,203,990 km = 2,715,518,898 miles = 4.06 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   144.52 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Neptune will be 23.2 above the southeast horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 2: 20pm
Transits: 7: 22pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 24am Sep 20
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   31.48941792 AU = 4,710,749,870 km = 2,927,124,300 miles = 4.37 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   91.09 degrees (evening sky)
On 9/19/2008 at 8:27:04pm Pluto will be 29.5 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