Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 8/28/2009


UPDATE: Friday 8/28/09 at 4:15pm...

The beautifully sunny skies earlier this afternoon have surrendered to total cloud cover, just as the Clear Sky Chart predicted.  Thunderstorms are a real possibility,
so we're forced to cancel our event tonight.
Even without the possibility of storms, the cloud cover prevents our doing any observing.

We'll try again next Friday, 9/4/2009.

 

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Click HERE for general Information you should know about our events - Q&A of Where, When and What.

Tonight, we have a waxing gibbous Moon that will be with us until it sets at 1:00am.  While this phase isn't quite as nice for viewing detail in craters and maria near the terminator as First Quarter, we'll still be able to see lots of detail.  Saturn is now too low on the horizon to allow quality images to be seen but Jupiter is now with us!  Also, we have the colorful double stars, 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 we can observe since the light of the Moon won't drown out the dim light of these distant island universes.  Jupiter is now in view as soon as it gets dark and you'll see why it's called the King of the Planets.  Perhaps we'll even catch a glimpse of the scar left by an impact of an unknown object.  If you don't know to what I'm referring, please click HERE for information.  To top it off, Jupiter reached opposition two Fridays ago, and it still appears closest and largest tonight until Sept 21, 2010.  If you want to get a great look at Jupiter, tonight is the night!  If the skies to the west are cloud-free just after sunset, we still might be able to catch a glimpse of Mercury - a very difficult object, due to its closeness to the Sun.

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 08/28/09 at
9:07:06pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:45 20:07
  Mercury Virgo 0.4 09:07 20:54
  Venus Cancer -4.0 03:56 18:35
  Mars Gemini 1.0 01:28 16:41
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.8 19:19 05:35
  Saturn Leo 1.1 08:10 20:54
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 20:43 08:35
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 19:28 06:00
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 15:59 01:59
Moon   Ophiuchus -10.6 15:55 00:54

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

6:45am

Transits:

1:26pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:07pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.00992144 AU = 151,082,097 km = 93,878,064 miles = 8.41 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.67 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

 8:33pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

 9:07pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

 9:43pm - 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 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:

  3:55pm

Transits:

  8:24pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

12:54am - Aug 29

Constellation:

Ophiuchus

Phase:

64.96% illuminated (waxing gibbous)

Distance:

0.00245533 AU = 367,312 km = 228,237 miles = 1.23 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-10.6

Apparent size:

29.88 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

107.26 (evening sky)

Age:

8d 15h 7m since last New Moon

Next Phase:

Full Moon on Friday Sep 4, 2009 at 12:03pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm the Moon will be 20.9 above the south horizon
and will look like this in 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:

9:07am

Transits:

3:01pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:54pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

45.31% illuminated

Distance:

0.85765127 AU = 128,302,804 km = 79,723,667 miles = 7.14 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.4

Apparent size:

7.84 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

26.90 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

Morning: Tuesday, October 06, 2009 (17 56' 43")

Evening:

Friday, December 18, 2009 (20 17' 43")


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Mercury will be 3.5
below the west-southwest horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  3:56am

Transits:

11:16am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:35pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

82.28% illuminated

Distance:

1.31207236 AU = 196,283,231 km = 121,964,747 miles = 10.93 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.0 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)

Apparent size:

12.72 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

33.02 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")

Morning:

Saturday, January 08, 2011 (46 57' 24")


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Venus will be 22.4 below the northwest horizon


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Mars data
 
Rises:

1:28am - Aug 29

Transits:

9:04am - Aug 29 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

4:41pm - Aug 29

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

89.58% illuminated

Distance:

1.620024 AU = 242,352,141 km = 150,590,641 miles = 13.49 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.0

Apparent size:

5.78 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

63.74 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Mars is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Monday Dec 24, 2007 at 2:29pm

Next:

Friday Jan 29, 2010 at 3:21pm

Next close approach:

Friday Jan 29, 2010


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Mars will be 25.2 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:

7:19pm

Transits:

0:27am - Aug 29 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

5:35am - Aug 29

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.93% illuminated

Distance:

4.05657519 AU = 606,855,011 km = 377,082,226 miles = 33.79 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.8

Apparent size:

48.60 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

164.34 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Friday Aug 14, 2009 at 1:44pm

Next:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 7:28am


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Jupiter will be 16.5 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field just after 9:00pm.
Notice the GRS (Great Red Spot) coming around Jupiter's west limb and heading for transit (center of Jupiter) at 10:40pm tonight.

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: Friday Aug 28, 2009 at 10:40pm (
The Red Spot transits about every 10 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 135.5
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
      none


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Saturn data
 
Rises:

8:10am

Transits:

2:32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:54pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

10.39983278 AU = 1,555,792,840 km = 966,724,864 miles = 1.44 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

15.98 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

16.82 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Sunday Mar 8, 2009 at 3:44pm

Next:

Sunday Mar 21, 2010 at 8:28pm


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Saturn will be 3.4 below the west horizon

Saturn and its moons will look like this at 8:25pm and still be above the tree line to the west of the observing field.
Notice how incredibly thin the rings now appear.  They will disappear completely the first week of September as they do every 14 years or so.  Also notice how the moons of Saturn appear to be in a line - for the same reason the rings appear edge-on.

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:

8:43pm

Transits:

2:39am - Aug 29 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:35am - Aug 29

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.14363095 AU = 2,863,846,428 km = 1,779,511,692 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

160.45 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Friday Sep 12, 2008 at 10:14pm

Next:

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 at 5:34am


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Uranus will be 3.3 above the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

7:28pm

Transits:

0:44am - Aug 29 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:00am - Aug 29

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.03621405 AU = 4,343,755,794 km = 2,699,084,750 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

168.90 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Monday Aug 17, 2009 at 4:47pm

Next:

Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 5:59am


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Neptune will be 15.6 above the east-southeast horizon


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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

3:58pm

Transits:

8:59pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:59am - Aug 29

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.26256214 AU = 4,676,812,729 km = 2,906,036,738 miles = 4.34 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

114.73 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Tuesday Jun 23, 2009 at 3:49am

Next:

Friday Jun 25, 2010 at 2:59pm


On 8/28/2009 at 9:07:06pm Pluto will be 30.9 above the south horizon

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Notice that Mercury is very nearly at maximum eastern elongation (visible in the evening) which occurred  on Monday, August 24th, and that
Venus is also past its maximum western elongation (visible in the morning) which occurred on Friday, June 5th.


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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Notice that Neptune recently reached opposition on Aug 17 2009 and likewise Jupiter on Aug 14th.  Uranus will be at opposition on Sept 17th
   


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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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