We had a fabulous night of observing!

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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 05/15/2009

Tonight, we have a Moonless night until it rises at 1:47am.  We'll 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.  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 05/15/09 at
9:48:08pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Taurus -26.7 06:03 20:40
  Mercury Taurus 5.2 06:20 20:57
  Venus Pisces -4.5 04:15 16:53
  Mars Pisces 1.2 04:32 17:25
  Jupiter Capricornus -2.3 02:24 12:57
Saturn   Leo 0.8 14:24 03:31
  Uranus Pisces 5.9 03:40 15:34
  Neptune Capricornus 7.9 02:25 13:02
  Pluto Sagittarius 14.1 22:59 09:02
  Moon Capricornus -10.5 01:47 12:24

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

  6:03am

Transits:

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

Sets:

  8:40pm

Constellation:

Taurus

Distance: 1.01108672 AU = 151,256,421 km = 93,986,384 miles = 8.42 light-minutes
Magnitude:  -26.7
Apparent size:  31.64 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:09pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

  9:48pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:32pm - 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 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises: 1: 47am May 16
Transits: 7: 02am May 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 24pm May 16
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   61.61% illuminated (waning gibbous)
Distance:   0.00272143 AU = 407,120 km = 252,973 miles = 1.36 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -10.5
Apparent size:   29.34 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   103.27 (evening sky)
Age:   20.93 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Third Quarter on Sunday May 17, 2009 at 3:26am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm the Moon will be 44.4 below the east-northeast horizon
but
will look like this when it clears the trees to the east at 3:30am Saturday...

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: 6: 20am
Transits: 1: 39pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 57pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   0.49% illuminated
Distance:   0.55935624 AU = 83,678,502 km = 51,995,411 miles = 4.66 light-minutes
Magnitude:   5.2
Apparent size:   12.02 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   3.60 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Saturday, June 13, 2009 (23 27' 17")
Evening:   Monday, August 24, 2009 (27 21' 57")
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Mercury will be 9.3 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 4: 15am
Transits: 10: 33am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 53pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   36.71% illuminated
Distance:   0.53580861 AU = 80,155,827 km = 49,806,522 miles = 4.46 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.5 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise
Apparent size:   31.14 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   43.86 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Morning:   Friday, June 05, 2009 (45 51' 07")
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Venus will be 43.8 below the north-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 4: 32am
Transits: 10: 58am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 25pm
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   94.85% illuminated
Distance:   2.04728392 AU = 306,269,315 km = 190,306,932 miles = 17.05 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.2
Apparent size:   4.57 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   37.29 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Mars will be 40.1 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: 2: 24am May 16
Transits: 7: 41am May 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 57pm May 16
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.00% illuminated
Distance:   4.97104602 AU = 743,657,900 km = 462,087,602 miles = 41.41 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.3
Apparent size:   39.66 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   89.75 (morning sky)
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Jupiter will be 51.2 below the northeast horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: None visible before daylight
GRS longitude: 130.6
Jupiter moons activity:
       None visible during darkness

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 2: 24pm
Transits: 8: 58pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 31am May 16
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.74% illuminated
Distance:   9.0198093 AU = 1,349,344,265 km = 838,443,665 miles = 1.25 light-hours
Magnitude:   0.8
Apparent size:   18.43 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   109.55 (evening sky)
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Saturn will be 54.9 above the south horizon
and will look like this...

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: 3: 37am May 16
Transits: 9: 33am May 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 30pm May 16
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.95% illuminated
Distance:   20.59198558 AU = 3,080,517,196 km = 1,914,144,667 miles = 2.86 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.9
Apparent size:   3.42 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   59.56 (morning sky)
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Uranus will be 51.1 below the north horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 2: 25am May 16
Transits: 7: 43am May 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 1: 20pm May 16
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   Distance: 30.03273215 AU = 4,492,832,780 km = 2,791,716,896 miles = 4.17 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.27 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   88.92 (morning sky)
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Neptune will be 51.2 below the northeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 10: 59pm
Transits: 4: 01am May 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 02am May 16
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.84077052 AU = 4,613,713,600 km = 2,866,828,756 miles = 4.28 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   142.09 (morning sky)
On 5/15/2009 at 9:48:08pm Pluto will be 14.1 below the east 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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