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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 10/31/2008

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Event report...


We had a great night of observing with many old friends and some new visitors.  Not bad for the end of October!  The sky stayed beautifully clear for the entire night!

 

Tonight, the Moon will set at 7:43pm so we'll have a wonderful dark sky the entire 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 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 10/31/08 at 7:23:00pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Libra -26.7 07:53 18:24
  Mercury Virgo -0.9 06:33 17:54
Venus   Ophiuchus -4.0 11:07 20:15
  Mars Libra 1.5 08:47 18:51
Jupiter   Sagittarius -2.1 13:16 22:36
  Saturn Leo 1.1 03:38 16:32
Uranus   Aquarius 5.8 16:16 03:50
Neptune   Capricornus 7.9 15:06 01:31
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 11:38 21:41
  Moon Scorpius -7.0 10:45 19:43

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 7: 53am
Transits: 1: 09pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 24pm
Constellation:   Libra
Distance:   0.99253084 AU = 148,480,500 km = 92,261,506 miles = 8.27 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   32.23 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

6:

50pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

7:

23pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

7:

55pm  - 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 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-southwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 10: 45am
Transits: 3: 15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 43pm
Constellation:   Scorpius
Phase:   8.24% illuminated (waxing crescent)
Distance:   0.00270579 AU = 404,780 km = 251,519 miles = 1.35 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -7.0
Apparent size:   29.51 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   33.27 degrees (evening sky)
Age:   3.01 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   First quarter on Thursday Nov 6, 2008 at 12:03am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm the Moon will be 1.9 above the southwest horizon
and
will look like this just prior to setting...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 6: 33am
Transits: 12: 14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 54pm
Constellation:   Virgo
Phase:   85.16% illuminated
Distance:   1.2118275 AU = 181,286,813 km = 112,646,405 miles = 10.09 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.9
Apparent size:   5.55 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   14.92 degrees (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Sunday, January 4, 2009 (19 20' 36")
Morning:   Friday, February 13, 2009 (26 05' 52")
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Mercury will be 17.7 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 11: 06am
Transits: 3: 41pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 15pm
Constellation:   Ophiuchus
Phase:   78.48% illuminated
Distance:   1.20648438 AU = 180,487,494 km = 112,149,731 miles = 10.05 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.0 (extremely bright, but difficult in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   13.83 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   37.09 degrees (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Wednesday 1/14/2009 (47 07' 21")
Morning:   Friday 6/05/2009 (45 51' 07")
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Venus will be 6.8 above the southwest horizon
and will appear to be a featureless gibbous Moon 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: 47am
Transits: 1: 49pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 51pm
Constellation:   Libra
Phase:   99.67% illuminated
Distance:   2.50335007 AU = 374,495,840 km = 232,700,929 miles = 20.85 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.5
Apparent size:   3.74 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   10.21 degrees (evening sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Mars will be 6.7 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: 1: 16pm
Transits: 5: 56pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 36pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.19% illuminated
Distance:   5.42597823 AU = 811,714,789 km = 504,376,192 miles = 45.19 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.1
Apparent size:   36.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   67.92 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Jupiter will be 23 above the south horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None before it sets
GRS longitude: 126.3
Jupiter moons activity:
       Io comes out of eclipse at 10:02pm with Jupiter 4.4 above the west horizon

Jupiter and its four visible moons will look like this.  Note that Io is shown in a different color and
in the position it will reappear out of eclipse at 10:02pm...

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 3: 38am
Transits: 10: 05am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 32pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.83% illuminated
Distance:   9.95223252 AU = 1,488,832,793 km = 925,117,819 miles = 1.38 light-hours
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   16.70 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   50.31 degrees (morning sky)
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Saturn will be 30 below the west-northwest horizon

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 4: 16pm
Transits: 10: 03pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 50am Nov 1
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   99.96% illuminated
Distance:   19.44480997 AU = 2,908,902,167 km = 1,807,508,030 miles = 2.7 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.62 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   130.11 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Uranus will be 30.9 above the east-southeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 3: 06pm
Transits: 8: 18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 31am Nov 1
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   29.80417016 AU = 4,458,640,394 km = 2,770,470,732 miles = 4.14 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.29 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   102.55 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Neptune will be 32.6 above the south-southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 11: 38am
Transits: 4: 40pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 41pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   32.16697402 AU = 4,812,110,819 km = 2,990,107,074 miles = 4.47 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   50.55 degrees (evening sky)
On 10/31/2008 at 7:23:00pm Pluto will be 20.1 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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