Event Report...

A good night of viewing - not great (due to hazy overcast skies) - but the best Friday night we've had so far in July this year.  Several telescopes and enthusiastic visitors - some who had never before looked through a telescope.  We were out until after 2:00am and the sky remained clear but somewhat hazy.
Patient attendees got their first look at Jupiter this year!
 


Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 07/24/2009

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Tonight, we have a very thin waxing crescent Moon setting at 10:21pm before it even gets dark.  This gives us a dark moon-free sky the entire night.  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 will be available to us since we won't have to contend with 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 07/24/09 at 10:01:23pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Cancer -26.7 06:10 20:53
  Mercury Cancer -0.9 07:05 21:36
  Venus Taurus -4.0 03:12 18:06
  Mars Taurus 1.1 02:15 17:10
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.8 21:48 08:16
Saturn   Leo 1.1 10:08 23:03
  Uranus Pisces 5.8 23:03 10:58
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 21:48 08:23
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.1 18:18 04:19
Moon   Sextans -7.8 09:18 22:21

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

 6:10am

Transits:

 1:32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

 8:53pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Distance: 1.0157617 AU = 151,955,787 km = 94,420,950 miles = 8.46 light-minutes
Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size: 31.49 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:22pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

10:01pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:46pm - 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 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:  9: 18am
Transits: 3: 56pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 21pm
Constellation:   Sextans
Phase:   12.47% illuminated (waxing crescent)
Distance:   0.00244992 AU = 366,503 km = 227,734 miles = 1.22 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -7.8
Apparent size:   32.59 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   41.27 (evening sky)
Age:   2.98 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   First Quarter on Tuesday July 28, 2009 at 6:00pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm the Moon will be 2.4 above the west horizon
and will look like this before it sets behind the trees to the west of the observing field...

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: 05am
Transits: 2: 21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 36pm
Constellation:   Cancer
Phase:   91.06% illuminated
Distance:   1.29892904 AU = 194,317,018 km = 120,742,999 miles = 10.82 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.9
Apparent size:   5.18 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   12.07 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Monday, August 24, 2009 (27 21' 57")
Morning:   Morning: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 (17 56' 43")
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Mercury will be 5.3 below the west-northwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 3: 12am
Transits: 10: 39am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 06pm
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   71.18% illuminated
Distance:   1.08179342 AU = 161,833,992 km = 100,558,982 miles = 9.01 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.0 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)
Apparent size:   15.42 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   40.31 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
Morning:   Saturday, January 08, 2011 (46 57' 24")
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Venus will be 26.9 below the north-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 2: 15am July 25
Transits: 9: 43am July 25 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 10pm July 25
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   91.24% illuminated
Distance:   1.79517741 AU = 268,554,718 km = 166,872,167 miles = 14.95 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   5.21 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   53.27 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Mars will be 27.3 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: 9: 48pm
Transits: 3: 02am July 25 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 16am July 25
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.85% illuminated
Distance:   4.09250581 AU = 612,230,155 km = 380,422,186 miles = 34.09 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.8
Apparent size:   48.17 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   157.64 (morning sky)
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Jupiter will be 1.2 below the east horizon
but will look like this when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 11:24pm...

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.

Next transit of the Great Red Spot:
Saturday July 25, 2009 at 4:49am
GRS longitude: 134.8
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
     
Io shadow transit starts at 4:25am with Jupiter 31.3 above horizon
      Io transit starts at 4:56am with Jupiter 28.6 above horizon

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Saturn data
 
Rises: 10: 08am
Transits: 4: 36pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 11: 03pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.85% illuminated
Distance:   10.09902049 AU = 1,510,791,962 km = 938,762,614 miles = 1.4 light-hours
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   16.46 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   46.40 (evening sky)
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Saturn will be 10.6 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this...

 

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Uranus data
 
Rises: 11: 03pm
Transits: 5: 00am July 25 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 58am July 25
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.96% illuminated
Distance:   19.48609451 AU = 2,915,078,247 km = 1,811,345,668 miles = 2.71 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.62 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   125.89 (morning sky)
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Uranus will be 12.8 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 9: 48pm
Transits: 3: 05am July 25 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 8: 23am July 25
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.09393586 AU = 4,352,390,855 km = 2,704,450,328 miles = 4.04 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   156.59 (morning sky)
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Neptune will be 1.3 below the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 6: 18pm
Transits: 11: 18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 4: 19am July 25
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.81018583 AU = 4,609,138,195 km = 2,863,985,731 miles = 4.28 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   148.46 (evening sky)
On 7/24/2009 at 10:01:23pm Pluto will be 28.4 above the south-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 a printer-friendly version of the information on this page.

Click HERE for 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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