Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 07/31/2009

Event Report...

A great night of viewing!  The best Friday night we've had in July this year.  Several telescopes and enthusiastic visitors - some who had never before looked through a telescope - enjoyed the show.  We were out until 2:00am and the sky remained clear.
Jupiter put on quite a show after 11:00pm when it cleared the trees to the east of the observing field.
 

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Tonight, we have a waxing gibbous Moon that will be with us until it sets at 2:08am.  While this phase isn't the best for viewing detail in the craters on or near the terminator - the line separating lunar night from day, a wealth of features can still be seen.  We'll also be able to see Saturn and Jupiter, 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 still 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.  Jupiter will clear the trees after 11:00pm and you'll see why it's called the King of the Planets.

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 07/31/09 at 9:52:27pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Cancer -26.7 06:17 20:46
  Mercury Leo -0.4 07:45 21:40
  Venus Orion -4.0 03:16 18:15
  Mars Taurus 1.1 02:05 17:06
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.8 21:18 07:44
Saturn   Leo 1.1 09:44 22:37
  Uranus Pisces 5.8 22:35 10:30
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 21:20 07:54
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.1 17:50 03:51
Moon   Scorpius -11.2 17:08 02:08

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

 6:17am

Transits:

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

Sets:

 8:46pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Distance: 1.01494999 AU = 151,834,357 km = 94,345,497 miles = 8.45 light-minutes
Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size: 31.52 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:14pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

  9:52pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:35pm - 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 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:  5: 08am
Transits: 9: 38pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 2: 08am Aug 1
Constellation:   Scorpius
Phase:   79.42% illuminated (waxing gibbous)
Distance:   0.00267367 AU = 399,976 km = 248,534 miles = 1.34 light-seconds
Magnitude:   -11.2
Apparent size:   29.87 arcminutes in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   125.92 (evening sky)
Age:   9.97 days since last New Moon
Next Phase:   Full Moon on Wednesday Aug 5, 2009 at 8:55pm
Next Lunar eclipse:   Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm the Moon will be 21.6 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.

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Mercury data
 
Rises: 7: 45am
Transits: 2: 43pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 9: 40pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   82.53% illuminated
Distance:   1.23318628 AU = 184,482,042 km = 114,631,828 miles = 10.27 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -0.4
Apparent size:   5.45 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   17.91 (evening sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Monday, August 24, 2009 (27 21' 57")
Morning:   Morning: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 (17 56' 43")
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Mercury will be 3.3 below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises: 3: 16am
Transits: 10: 46am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 6: 15pm
Constellation:   Orion
Phase:   73.62% illuminated
Distance:   1.13126825 AU = 169,235,322 km = 105,157,955 miles = 9.42 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -4.0 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)
Apparent size:   14.75 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   38.98 (morning sky)
Next maximum elongations...
Evening:   Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")
Morning:   Saturday, January 08, 2011 (46 57' 24")
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Venus will be 25.8 below the north-northwest horizon

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Mars data
 
Rises: 2: 05am Aug 1
Transits: 9: 35am Aug 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 5: 06pm Aug 1
Constellation:   Taurus
Phase:   90.89% illuminated
Distance:   1.76351321 AU = 263,817,821 km = 163,928,796 miles = 14.69 light-minutes
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   5.31 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   55.18 (morning sky)
Next close approach:   Friday, Jan 29, 2010
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Mars will be 26.5 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: 9: 18pm
Transits: 2: 31am Aug 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 44am Aug 1
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   99.93% illuminated
Distance:   4.05693005 AU = 606,908,097 km = 377,115,213 miles = 33.79 light-minutes
Magnitude:   -2.8
Apparent size:   48.59 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   165.13 (morning sky)
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Jupiter will be 4.8 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 10:55pm...

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 Aug 1,2009 at 5:35am
GRS longitude: 135.0
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
      Io shadow transit starts at 6:20am with Jupiter 13.2 above horizon


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Saturn data
 
Rises: 9: 44am
Transits: 4: 11pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 37pm
Constellation:   Leo
Phase:   99.88% illuminated
Distance:   10.17887524 AU = 1,522,738,062 km = 946,185,577 miles = 1.41 light-hours
Magnitude:   1.1
Apparent size:   16.33 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   40.43 (evening sky)
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Saturn will be 7.4 above the west 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: 10: 35pm
Transits: 4: 32am Aug 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 10: 30am Aug 1
Constellation:   Pisces
Phase:   99.97% illuminated
Distance:   19.39597707 AU = 2,901,596,869 km = 1,802,968,728 miles = 2.69 light-hours
Magnitude:   5.8
Apparent size:   3.63 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   132.72 (morning sky)
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Uranus will be 9.3 below the east-northeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises: 9: 20pm
Transits: 2: 37am Aug 1 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 7: 54am Aug 1
Constellation:   Capricornus
Phase:   100.00% illuminated
Distance:   29.05432034 AU = 4,346,464,457 km = 2,700,767,835 miles = 4.03 light-hours
Magnitude:   7.8
Apparent size:   2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   163.45 (morning sky)
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Neptune will be 4.6 above the east horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises: 5: 50pm
Transits: 10: 50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South
Sets: 3: 51am Aug 1
Constellation:   Sagittarius
Phase:   99.99% illuminated
Distance:   30.88073763 AU = 4,619,692,594 km = 2,870,543,931 miles = 4.29 light-hours
Magnitude:   14.1
Apparent size:   0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter
Elongation from Sun:   141.74 (evening sky)
On 7/31/2009 at 9:52:27pm Pluto will be 29.5 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 event status.

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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