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Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 07/03/2009

Tonight, we have a nearly full Moon that will be with us the entire night until it sets at 3:24am.  This phase isn't the best for viewing detail in the craters on or near the terminator - the line separating lunar night from day, but a wealth of features can still be seen.  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 07/03/09 at 10:18:05pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Gemini -26.7 05:54 21:05
  Mercury Gemini -1.2 05:00 20:15
  Venus Taurus -4.1 03:15 17:34
  Mars Taurus 1.1 02:51 17:18
  Jupiter Capricornus -2.7 23:15 09:48
Saturn   Leo 1.1 11:21 00:22
  Uranus Pisces 5.8 00:26 12:22
  Neptune Capricornus 7.9 23:11 09:48
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.1 19:42 05:44
Moon   Scorpius -11.7 18:16 03:24

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

 5:54am

Transits:

 1:30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

 9:05pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Distance:

1.01667537 AU = 152,092,471 km = 94,505,881 miles = 8.47 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.46 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:35pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

10:18pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

11:08pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Autumnal Equinox:

Tuesday Sept 22, 2009 at 5:19pm (when Fall 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 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm the Sun will be 12 below the northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:  6: 16pm
Transits: 10: 51pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 23am July 4
Constellation:   Scorpius
Phase:   90.39% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00266683 AU = 398,952 km = 247,897 miles = 1.33 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -11.7
Apparent size:   29.94 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   143.80 (evening sky)
Age:   11.28 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Tuesday July 7, 2009 at 5:21am
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm the Moon will be 22 above the south-southeast 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.

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 4: 59am
Transits: 12: 37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 15pm
Constellation:   Gemini
Phase:   87.74% illuminated
Distance:   1.23248205 AU = 184,376,690 km = 114,566,365 miles = 10.27 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -1.2
Apparent size:   5.46 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   11.68 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Monday, August 24, 2009 (27 21' 57")
Morning:   Morning: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 (17 56' 43")
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Mercury will be 17.5 below the northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 3: 15am
Transits: 10: 24am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 34pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   63.04% illuminated
Distance:   0.92485259 AU = 138,355,978 km = 85,970,420 miles = 7.7 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.1 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)
Apparent size:   18.04 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   43.69 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
Morning:   Saturday, January 08, 2011 (46 57' 24")
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Venus will be 31.5 below the north-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 2: 51am July 4
Transits: 10: 04am July 4 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 18pm July 4
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   92.33% illuminated
Distance:   1.8813978 AU = 281,453,105 km = 174,886,854 miles = 15.67 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   4.97 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   47.96 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Mars will be 30.5 below the north 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: 11: 15pm
Transits: 4: 31am July 4 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 48am July 4
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.51% illuminated
Distance:   4.27419734 AU = 639,410,821 km = 397,311,469 miles = 35.6 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.7
Apparent size:   46.12 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   135.81 (morning sky)
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Jupiter will be 11.6 below the east horizon

Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday July 4, 2009 at 2:29am
GRS longitude: 131.7
Jupiter moons activity:
       Io shadow transit starts at 10:42pm with Jupiter 7.2 below horizon
       Io transit starts at 11:39pm with Jupiter 3.1 above horizon
       Io shadow transit ends at 1:00am with Jupiter 16.5 above horizon
       Io transit ends at 1:57am with Jupiter 24.5 above horizon
       Ganymede eclipse begins at 4:35am with Jupiter 35.2 above horizon

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 11: 21am
Transits: 5: 52pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 0: 22am July 4
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.76% illuminated
Distance:   9.81280415 AU = 1,467,974,606 km = 912,157,142 miles = 1.36 light-hours
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   16.94 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   64.56 (evening sky)
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Saturn will be 22.2 above the west-southwest 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.

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 0: 26am July 4
Transits: 6: 24am July 4 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 12: 22pm July 4
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.94% illuminated
Distance:   19.80043738 AU = 2,962,103,271 km = 1,840,565,664 miles = 2.75 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.56 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   105.65 (morning sky)
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Uranus will be 24.9 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 11: 11pm
Transits: 4: 29am July 4 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 48pm July 4
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   29.28824374 AU = 4,381,458,900 km = 2,722,512,374 miles = 4.07 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.9
Apparent size:   2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   136.12 (morning sky)
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Neptune will be 11 below the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 7: 42pm
Transits: 0: 43am July 4 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 44am July 4
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   30.67445635 AU = 4,588,833,355 km = 2,851,368,888 miles = 4.26 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   168.00 (evening sky)
On 7/03/2009 at 10:18:05pm Pluto will be 22.1 above the southeast 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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Click HERE for general Information you should know about our events - Q&A of Where, When and What.

Click HERE for a printer-friendly version of the information on this page.

Very sincerely yours,
Dave Jessie
"Time spent observing the heavens is not deducted from your life span"

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