Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek - Friday 9/04/2009


Session Report:

We had a fabulous night of observing!  Jupiter's moons, Io and Europa, coming out of eclipse were a real crowd-pleaser despite the amazingly bright full Moon.  Unfortunately, Saturn's edge-on rings escaped our attempt to view them...Saturn was simply too low on the horizon and hidden by the glare of the setting Sun. We had many visitors, some of whom had not been here before.
All in all, the best night of observing so far this year!

We'll see you next Friday, 9/11/2009.

PS.  Many thanks to Gary S. who was kind enough to point out several errors in data-transfer I'd made on this page.
They have been corrected.
 

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.

Tonight, we have a very bright full Moon with us the entire night.  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.  Jupiter is putting on a show for us with two of its moons, Io and Europa, coming out of eclipse at an early hour.  It's quite a sight to see these seemingly to appear out of thin air.  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.  It won't be easy, but Saturn may be visible low in the west at sunset.  Perhaps we will be able to see Saturn without any rings!  This happens once every fourteen years when the plane of the rings happens to intersect Earth's orbital plane.  If we miss this tonight, we'll have to wait fourteen years for another chance to see Saturn ring-less.

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 9/04/09 at
8:54:34pm EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:52 19:56
  Mercury Virgo 0.8 09:00 20:30
  Venus Cancer -4.0 04:10 18:34
  Mars Gemini 1.0 01:20 16:33
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.8 18:49 05:04
  Saturn Virgo 1.1 07:47 20:29
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 20:15 08:06
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 19:00 05:32
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 15:31 01:31
Moon   Pisces -12.5 19:36 07:58

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

6:52am

Transits:

1:24pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:56pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.00823489 AU = 150,829,792 km = 93,721,289 miles = 8.4 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.73 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

 8:21pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

 8:55pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

 9:29pm - 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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Moon data
 
Rises:

  7:36pm

Transits:

  1:42am - Sep 5 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

  7:58am - Sep 5

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.78% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00264633 AU = 395,886 km = 245,992 miles = 1.32 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-12.5

Apparent size:

30.17 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

174.56 (morning sky)

Age:

15d 14h 52m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

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

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Friday Sep 11, 2009 at 10:16pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm the Moon will be 12.9 above the east horizon
and will look like this at low power 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.

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mercury data
 
Rises:

9:00am

Transits:

2:45pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:30pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

30.90% illuminated

Distance:

0.75610086 AU = 113,111,079 km = 70,283,967 miles = 6.3 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

8.90 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

23.67 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

Morning: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 (17 56' 43")

Evening:

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


On 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Mercury will be 5.8
below the west-southwest horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Venus data
 
Rises:

  4:10am

Transits:

11:23am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:34pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

84.17% illuminated

Distance:

1.35248238 AU = 202,328,484 km = 125,721,093 miles = 11.27 light-minutes

Magnitude:

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

Apparent size:

12.34 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

31.42 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

Saturday, January 8, 2011 (46 57' 24")


On 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Venus will be 21.8 below the northwest horizon


(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mars data
 
Rises:

1:20am

Transits:

8:57am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

4:33pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

89.29% illuminated

Distance:

1.57960018 AU = 236,304,824 km = 146,833,012 miles = 13.16 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.0

Apparent size:

5.92 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

66.15 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Mars will be 25.3 below the north-northwest horizon


No, Mars was *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

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Jupiter data
 
Rises:

  6:49pm

Transits:

11:56pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:04am - Sep 5

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.84% illuminated

Distance:

4.09209588 AU = 612,168,830 km = 380,384,080 miles = 34.08 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.8

Apparent size:

48.18 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

156.78 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Jupiter will be 18.8 above the east-southeast horizon
In the animation of Jupiter, below, frames are five minutes apart.
Notice Io coming out of eclipse at 8:57pm and Europa coming out of eclipse at 10:33pm.


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 Sep 4, 2009 at 11:26pm (
The Red Spot transits about every 10 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 135.7
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
      Io eclipse ends on Friday Sep 4, 2009 at 8:57pm when Jupiter is 19.2 above the horizon
      Europa eclipse ends on Friday Sep 4, 2009 at 10:33pm when Jupiter is 29.5 above the horizon


(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Saturn data
 
Rises:

7:47am

Transits:

2:08pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:29pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

10.42757085 AU = 1,559,942,395 km = 969,303,278 miles = 1.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

15.94 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

10.97 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Saturn will be 5.9 below the west horizon

Saturn and its moons will look like this at sunset and be barely above the tree line to the west of the observing field.
Notice how the rings have now totally disappeared.  As a matter of fact, tonight is the night when the rings are completely invisible.
This happens every 14 years or so when the plane of the rings intersects Earth's orbit.
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.

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Uranus data
 
Rises:

8:15pm

Transits:

2:11am - Sep 5 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:06am - Sep 5

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.11270459 AU = 2,859,219,910 km = 1,776,636,907 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

167.47 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Uranus will be 6.2 above the east horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Neptune data
 
Rises:

7:00pm

Transits:

0:16am - Sep 5 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

5:32am - Sep 5

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.06740554 AU = 4,348,421,975 km = 2,701,984,181 miles = 4.04 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

161.96 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Neptune will be 18 above the east-southeast horizon


(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

3:31pm

Transits:

8:31pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:31am - Sep 5

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.37639963 AU = 4,693,842,575 km = 2,916,618,593 miles = 4.36 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

107.96 (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 9/4/2009 at 8:54:34pm Pluto will be 30.6 above the south horizon

(back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)


(back to 'Quick Links')
 

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Notice that Jupiter and Neptune are now past opposition and that Uranus will be at opposition on Sept 17th
   


(back to 'Quick Links')
 

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"

(back to 'Quick Links')

Back to home page

 

Web hosting generously provided by