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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 03/20/2009

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This event has been Cancelled.
The field is too wet to support vehicles or equipment
and school events prevent our use of the paved parking lot.

 

Tonight, the Moon won't rise until nearly daybreak so we'll have a wonderful dark sky the entire night.  We'll be able to see Saturn, 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.  Saturn, the ringed planet, is a beautiful sight.  With a high-power view through the telescopes, the cloud bands are now visible since the rings are nearly edge-on this entire year.

 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 03/20/09 at 8:37:52pm (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Pisces -26.7 07:25 19:41
  Mercury Aquarius -1.0 07:14 18:47
Venus
(sets at 8:49pm)
  Pisces -4.2 07:12 20:49
  Mars Aquarius 1.2 06:32 17:26
  Jupiter Capricornus -2.0 05:44 15:57
Saturn   Leo 0.5 18:17 07:17
  Uranus Aquarius 5.9 7:14 19:01
  Neptune Capricornus 8.0 06:05 16:40
  Pluto Sagittarius 14.2 02:41 12:43
  Moon Sagittarius -8.9 04:18 13:43

 

Sun data
 
Rises: 7: 25am
Transits: 1: 33pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 41pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Distance:   0.99612942 AU = 149,018,840 km = 92,596,015 miles = 8.3 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   32.11 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

06pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

8:

38pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

11pm  - Sun is 18 below the horizon
Vernal Equinox:   Friday Mar 20, 2009 at 7:44am (when Spring 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 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 4: 18am
Transits: 8: 58am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 43pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   29.32% illuminated (waning crescent)
Distance:   0.00273301 AU = 408,852 km = 254,049 miles = 1.37 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -8.9
Apparent size:   29.22 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   65.43 (morning sky)
Age:   23.96 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   New Moon on Thursday Mar 26, 2009 at 12:06pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm the Moon will be 69.3 below the northwest horizon
but
will look like this when it rises...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 14am
Transits: 1: 00pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 47pm
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   95.30% illuminated
Distance:   1.34462501 AU = 201,153,038 km = 124,990,705 miles = 11.2 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.0
Apparent size:   5.00 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   9.81 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Sunday, April 26, 2009 (20 25' 12")
Morning:   Saturday, June 13, 2009 (23 27' 17")
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Mercury will be 21.7 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 7: 12am
Transits: 2: 00pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 49pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   2.74% illuminated
Distance:   0.28762244 AU = 43,027,704 km = 26,736,176 miles = 2.4 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.2 (extremely bright, but difficult in the glare of the setting Sun)
Apparent size:   58.01 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   13.64 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Friday, June 05, 2009 (45 51' 07")
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Venus will be 0.9 above the west horizon
and will appear to be a featureless very thin crescent 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: 6: 32am
Transits: 11: 58pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 26pm
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   97.47% illuminated
Distance:   2.21394026 AU = 331,200,748 km = 205,798,606 miles = 18.44 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.2
Apparent size:   4.23 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   25.95 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Mars will be 36.7 below the west 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: 5: 44am
Transits: 10: 50am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 57pm
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.54% illuminated
Distance:   5.76201755 AU = 861,985,557 km = 535,613,000 miles = 47.99 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.0
Apparent size:   34.21 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   43.58 (morning sky)
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Jupiter will be 52.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None before it sets
GRS longitude: 129.4
Jupiter moons activity:
       None visible

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 6: 17pm
Transits: 12: 47am Mar 21 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 17am Mar 21
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   8.41791237 AU = 1,259,301,766 km = 782,493,850 miles = 1.17 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.5
Apparent size:   19.74 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   166.69 (evening sky)
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Saturn will be 25.1 above the east horizon
and will look like this...

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 7: 14am
Transits: 1: 07pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 01pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   21.08599644 AU = 3,154,420,169 km = 1,960,065,846 miles = 2.93 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.9
Apparent size:   3.34 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   7.51 (morning sky)
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Uranus will be 19.3 below the west horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 6: 05am
Transits: 11: 23am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 40pm
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.83971681 AU = 4,613,555,968 km = 2,866,730,808 miles = 4.28 light-hours
Magnitude:   8.0
Apparent size:   2.21 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   35.28 degrees (morning sky)
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Neptune will be 44.9 below the west-northwest horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 2: 41am
Transits: 7: 42am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 43pm
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.64723299 AU = 4,734,358,669 km = 2,941,794,127 miles = 4.39 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   87.31 (morning sky)
On 3/20/2009 at 8:37:52pm Pluto will be 63.9 below the north-northeast 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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