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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 10/10/2008

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Event report...


We had a fantastic night of observing and lots of new visitors.
We were fortunate to have fantastic weather and got to see many wonderful objects.
 

 

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. 

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 10/10/08 at 7:51:30pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:29 18:55
  Mercury Virgo 2.9 06:54 18:31
Venus   Libra -4.0 10:18 20:16
  Mars Virgo 1.6 08:55 19:35
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.2 14:28 23:47
  Saturn Leo 1.0 04:50 17:49
Uranus   Aquarius 5.7 17:40 05:16
Neptune   Capricornus 7.9 16:29 02:54
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 12:59 23:02
Moon   Aquarius -11.4 16:42 03:55

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 7: 29am
Transits: 1: 12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 55pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Distance:   0.99827383 AU = 149,339,639 km = 92,795,351 miles = 8.31 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   32.04 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

7:

20pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

7:

52pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

8:

24pm  - Sun is 18 below the horizon
Winter Solstice:   Sunday Dec 21, 2008 at 8:04am (when Winter 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 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 4: 42pm
Transits: 10: 13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 55am Oct 11
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   83.00% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00256544 AU = 383,784 km = 238,472 miles = 1.28 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -11.4
Apparent size:   31.13 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   131.18 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   11.65 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Tuesday Oct 14, 2008 at 4:02pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm the Moon will be 28.3 above the southeast horizon
and will look like this...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 6: 54am
Transits: 12: 42pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 31pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   5.46% illuminated
Distance:   0.70162589 AU = 104,961,739 km = 65,220,202 miles = 5.84 light-minutes
Magnitude:   2.9
Apparent size:   9.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   8.40 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Wednesday, October 22, 2008 (18 19' 05")
Evening:   Sunday, January 4, 2009 (19 20' 36")
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Mercury will be 16.3 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 10: 18am
Transits: 3: 17pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 16pm
Constellation:   Libra
Phase:   83.75% illuminated
Distance:   1.3327061 AU = 199,369,995 km = 123,882,773 miles = 11.1 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.0 (extremely bright, but difficult in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   12.52 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   32.52 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Venus will be 3 above the southwest horizon
and will appear to be a featureless gibbous Moon something like this...

Remember that we're not really seeing the surface of Venus, but rather the extremely dense clouds composed chiefly of carbon dioxide, which generates a surface pressure 90 times greater than that on Earth. This massive blanket of carbon dioxide is also responsible for a runaway greenhouse effect that heats the planet's surface to an average temperature of nearly 900F - hot enough to melt lead. Venus' atmosphere consists almost entirely (97%) of carbon dioxide, with clouds containing sulfuric acid along with chlorine and fluorine. These clouds produce an acid rain which evaporates before it has a chance to reach the surface. In the upper part of the atmosphere, fierce winds drive clouds at nearly 200mph.  Not a very hospitable place.  Let's take care of our planet!

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Mars data
 
Rises: 8: 55am
Transits: 2: 15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 35pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   99.16% illuminated
Distance:   2.49360975 AU = 373,038,709 km = 231,795,510 miles = 20.77 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.6
Apparent size:   3.75 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   16.58 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Mars will be 4.1 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: 2: 28pm
Transits: 7: 07pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 47pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.05% illuminated
Distance:   5.11307305 AU = 764,904,841 km = 475,289,839 miles = 42.59 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.2
Apparent size:   38.56 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   86.16 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Jupiter will be 25 above the south horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None before it sets
GRS longitude: 125.9
Jupiter moons activity:
       Callisto transit ends at 8:20pm
       Europa transit starts at 10:31pm

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


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 4: 50am
Transits: 11: 19am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 49pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.92% illuminated
Distance:   10.17862426 AU = 1,522,700,516 km = 946,162,247 miles = 1.41 light-hours
Magnitude:   1.0
Apparent size:   16.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   31.66 degrees (morning sky)
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Saturn will be 22.5 below the west-northwest horizon

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 5: 40pm
Transits: 11: 28pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 16am Oct 11
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   19.21506674 AU = 2,874,533,070 km = 1,786,152,063 miles = 2.67 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.7
Apparent size:   3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.56 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Uranus will be 22.4 above the east-southeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 4: 29pm
Transits: 9: 42pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 54am Oct 11
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   29.47268285 AU = 4,409,050,597 km = 2,739,657,060 miles = 4.09 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   123.55 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Neptune will be 28.6 above the southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 12: 59pm
Transits: 6: 01pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 02pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.84886161 AU = 4,764,521,881 km = 2,960,536,679 miles = 4.42 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   70.82 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/10/2008 at 7:51:30pm Pluto will be 26 above the south-southwest 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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