This event has been *Canceled*
due to cloud cover and threat of rain.
We'll try again next Friday.

 


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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 05/01/2009

Tonight, we have a First Quarter Moon that will be with us until it sets at 2:57am, but don't despair.  This phase is perfect for viewing detail in the craters on or 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 becoming invisible to us 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 05/01/09 at 9:29:59pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Aries -26.7 06:19 20:26
Mercury
(Sets at 10:10pm)
  Taurus 1.2 07:04 22:10
  Venus Pisces -4.5 04:40 17:07
  Mars Cetus 1.2 05:02 17:26
  Jupiter Capricornus -2.2 03:15 13:44
Saturn   Leo 0.8 15:20 04:26
  Uranus Pisces 5.9 04:34 16:26
  Neptune Capricornus 7.9 03:19 13:56
  Pluto Sagittarius 14.1 23:55 09:58
Moon   Cancer -10.3 12:25 02:57

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

  6:19am

Transits:

  1:22pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  8:26pm

Constellation:

Aries

Distance:  1.00782402 AU = 150,768,327 km = 93,683,096 miles = 8.39 light-minutes
Magnitude:  -26.7
Apparent size:  31.74 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  8:53pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

  9:30pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:10pm - 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 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 12: 25pm
Transits: 7: 48pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 57am May 2
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   52.22% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00245243 AU = 366,879 km = 227,968 miles = 1.23 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.3
Apparent size:   32.56 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   92.40 (evening sky)
Age:   6.92 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Saturday May 9, 2009 at 12:01am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm the Moon will be 56.2 above the southwest horizon
and
will look like this, but with an amazing amount of detail on the terminator...

and this is the kind of detail we can see at the
Terminator through our telescopes!

Note: All graphics are correct-image representations.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 04am
Transits: 2: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 10pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   22.05% illuminated
Distance:   0.73256434 AU = 109,590,065 km = 68,096,110 miles = 6.1 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.2
Apparent size:   9.18 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   18.95 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Saturday, June 13, 2009 (23 27' 17")
Evening:   Monday, August 24, 2009 (27 21' 57")
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Mercury will be 5.5 above the west-northwest horizon
and will look like a featureless crescent moon:

Note: All graphics are correct-image representations.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

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Venus data
 
Rises: 4: 40am
Transits: 10: 54pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 07pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   25.80% illuminated
Distance:   0.43199975 AU = 64,626,243 km = 40,156,886 miles = 3.6 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.5 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise
Apparent size:   38.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   39.02 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Friday, June 05, 2009 (45 51' 07")
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Venus will be 42.6 below the northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 5: 02am
Transits: 11: 14am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 26pm
Constellation:   Cetus
Phase:   95.54% illuminated
Distance:   2.08969919 AU = 312,614,549 km = 194,249,677 miles = 17.41 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.2
Apparent size:   4.48 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   34.48 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Mars will be 40.9 below the northwest horizon

No, Mars will *not* be "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: 3: 14am
Transits: 8: 30am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 44pm May 2
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.05% illuminated
Distance:   5.19052283 AU = 776,491,163 km = 482,489,246 miles = 43.23 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.2
Apparent size:   37.98 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   77.74 (morning sky)
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Jupiter will be 60.1 below the north-northeast horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None before it sets
GRS longitude: 130.3
Jupiter moons activity:
       None visible

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 3: 20pm
Transits: 9: 53pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 26am May 2
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.80% illuminated
Distance:   8.81160902 AU = 1,318,197,946 km = 819,090,240 miles = 1.22 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   18.86 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   123.28 (evening sky)
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Saturn will be 56.3 above the south-southeast horizon
and will look like this...

Close up of Saturn, Tethys, Rhea and Dione:

Note: All graphics are correct-image representations.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Uranus data
 
Rises: 4: 34am
Transits: 10: 30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 26pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   20.77829428 AU = 3,108,388,581 km = 1,931,463,143 miles = 2.88 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.9
Apparent size:   3.39 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   46.57 (morning sky)
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Uranus will be 49.2 below the northwest horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 3: 19am
Transits: 8: 38am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 56pm
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   30.26711276 AU = 4,527,895,621 km = 2,813,503,935 miles = 4.20 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.26 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   75.52 (morning sky)
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Neptune will be 59.9 below the north-northeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 11: 55am
Transits: 4: 57am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 58am
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.98% illuminated
Distance:   31.00079996 AU = 4,637,653,663 km = 2,881,704,422 miles = 4.30 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.2
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   128.46 (morning sky)
On 5/1/2009 at 9:29:59pm Pluto will be 28 below the east-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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