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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 04/03/2009

Tonight, the Moon will be with us the entire night - but don't despair.  The phase is near First Quarter so there's lots to see near the Terminator - the line separating lunar night from day.  We'll also be able to see Saturn, colorful double stars, and open clusters made up of hundreds of stars.  The 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 will be somewhat difficult in the light of the Moon.  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.  Try to catch the rings now, or as soon as possible, because they'll continue to be more difficult to see as the year progresses reaching invisibility by early September..

 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 04/03/09 at 8:54:16pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Pisces -26.7 07:02 19:56
  Mercury Pisces -1.8 07:14 20:14
  Venus Pisces -4.2 06:04 19:09
  Mars Aquarius 1.2 06:03 17:26
  Jupiter Capricornus -2.1 04:56 15:15
Saturn   Leo 0.6 17:17 06:20
  Uranus Pisces 5.9 06:21 18:09
  Neptune Capricornus 8.0 05:12 15:47
  Pluto Sagittarius 14.2 01:46 11:49
Moon   Cancer -10.9 13:19 04:24

 

Sun data
 
Rises:  

7:

02am  
Transits:  

1:

28pm  - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets:  

7:

56pm  
Constellation:   Pisces
Distance:   1.00010902 AU = 149,614,180 km = 92,965,943 miles = 8.33 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -26.7
Apparent size:   31.98 arcminutes in angular diameter
Twilight ends...  
Civil:  

8:

21pm  - Sun is   6 below the horizon
Nautical:  

8:

54pm  - Sun is 12 below the horizon
Astronomical:  

9:

29pm  - Sun is 18 below the horizon
Summer Solstice:   Sunday June 21, 2009 at 1:46am (when Summer will officially arrives)
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 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 1: 19pm
Transits: 8: 58pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 24am Apr 4
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   66.25% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00244004 AU = 365,025 km = 226,816 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.9
Apparent size:   32.73 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   108.83 (evening sky)
Age:   8.37 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Thursday Apr 9, 2009 at 10:56am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm the Moon will be 68.2 above the south-southeast horizon
and
will look like this...

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 14am
Transits: 1: 44pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 14pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   98.72% illuminated
Distance:   1.31367725 AU = 196,523,320 km = 122,113,931 miles = 10.94 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.8
Apparent size:   5.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   4.19 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Sunday, April 26, 2009 (20 25' 12")
Morning:   Saturday, June 13, 2009 (23 27' 17")
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Mercury will be 8.3 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 6: 04am
Transits: 12: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 09pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   2.68% illuminated
Distance:   0.28982422 AU = 43,357,086 km = 26,940,845 miles = 2.41 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.2 (extremely bright, but completely lost in the glare of the Sun)
Apparent size:   57.57 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   13.46 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Friday, June 05, 2009 (45 51' 07")
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Venus will be 19.7 below the west-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 6: 03am
Transits: 11: 44am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 26pm
Constellation:   Aquarius
Phase:   96.86% illuminated
Distance:   2.17266886 AU = 325,026,635 km = 201,962,190 miles = 18.1 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.2
Apparent size:   4.31 arcseconds in angular diameter (getting smaller)
Elongation from Sun:   28.85 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Mars will be 38.9 below the west-northwest 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: 56am
Transits: 10: 06am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 15pm
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.35% illuminated
Distance:   5.59364038 AU = 836,796,690 km = 519,961,363 miles = 46.59 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.1
Apparent size:   35.24 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   54.74 (morning sky)
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Jupiter will be 60.1 below the northwest horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None before it sets
GRS longitude: 129.7
Jupiter moons activity:
       None visible

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 5: 17pm
Transits: 11: 48pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 20am Apr 4
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.94% illuminated
Distance:   8.49991702 AU = 1,271,569,487 km = 790,116,658 miles = 1.18 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.6
Apparent size:   19.55 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   151.93 (evening sky)
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Saturn will be 38.6 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this...

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 6: 21am
Transits: 12: 15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 09pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   21.03211053 AU = 3,146,358,951 km = 1,955,056,837 miles = 2.92 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.9
Apparent size:   3.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   20.57 (morning sky)
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Uranus will be 31.2 below the west-northwest horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 5: 12am
Transits: 10: 29am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 47pm
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   30.68207156 AU = 4,589,972,574 km = 2,852,076,766 miles = 4.26 light-hours
Magnitude:   8.0
Apparent size:   2.23 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   48.72 (morning sky)
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Neptune will be 55.4 below the northwest horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 1: 46am
Transits: 6: 47am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 49am
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.41636517 AU = 4,699,821,334 km = 2,920,333,622 miles = 4.36 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   101.05 (morning sky)
On 4/03/2009 at 8:54:16pm Pluto will be 54.4 below the 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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