Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 10/2/2009  8:05pm

Click HERE for event status - Updated on 10/2/09 at 2:40pm
                        
This event has been Cancelled due to rain and soggy condition of the observing field.

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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 satellite passes this evening

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.  Faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) are probably not going to be visible due to the Moon, but Jupiter will be beautiful with all four of the Galilean moons lined up, in order, on the west side of the planet.  Take a look at the information for Jupiter, below.  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.  Galaxies may not be visible this evening, except for M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy - our closest neighboring island universe.

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 fifteenth year!

Quick links:
    Inner Solar System     Outer Solar System

Note: All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio

Longitude:

W 81 25' 38.4"
Latitude: N 41 11' 11.1"
Altitude:

 337m


The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53p
m EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:20 19:08
  Mercury Leo 0.0 05:54 18:31
  Venus Leo -3.9 05:13 18:16
  Mars Gemini 0.8 00:47 15:49
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.7 16:53 03:03
  Saturn Virgo 1.1 06:15 18:47
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 18:22 06:11
Neptune   Capricornus 7.9 17:08 03:39
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 13:42 23:41
Moon   Pisces -12.3 18:02 06:50

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

 7:20am

Transits:

 1:14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

 7:08pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

1.00063378 AU = 149,692,683 km = 93,014,722 miles = 8.33 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.97 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

 7:33pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

 8:05pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

 8:37pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Fall began:

at the Autumnal Equinox which occurred on Tuesday Sep 22, 2009 at 5:19pm

Winter begins:

at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Monday Dec 21, 2009 at 1:47pm

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 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:

 6:02pm

Transits:

 0:21am - Oct 3 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

 6:50am - Oct 3

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

98.33% illuminated (waxing gibbous)

Distance:

0.00261419 AU = 391,078 km = 243,005 miles = 1.31 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-12.3

Apparent size:

30.55 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

165.10 (evening sky)

Age:

14d 5h 16m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

First Quarter on Saturday Sep 26, 2009 at 12:50am

Next Phase:

Full Moon on Sunday Oct 4, 2009 at 2:10am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm the Moon will be 21.1 above the east horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at very low power*

*How do we change the "power" (magnification) of our telescopes?
Simple!  By changing the eyepiece to one of a longer or shorter focal length.
If the eyepiece is of shorter focal length, the "power" (magnification) is higher,
If he eyepiece is of longer focal length, the "power" (magnification) is lower.
By how much?  Here's the formula:

Magnification =F focal length of telescope objective lens (or mirror)
focal length of eyepiece being used      

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:

  5:54am

Transits:

12:13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:31pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

37.23% illuminated

Distance:

0.87648151 AU = 131,119,767 km = 81,474,047 miles = 7.3 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.0

Apparent size:

7.67 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

17.33 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

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


On 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Mercury will be 18.1
below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  5:13am

Transits:

11:45am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:16pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

90.64% illuminated

Distance:

1.49294299 AU = 223,341,093 km = 138,777,723 miles = 12.44 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-3.9 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)

Apparent size:

11.18 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

24.72 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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


On 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Venus will be 20.2 below the west-northwest horizon


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Mars data
 
Rises:

0:47am

Transits:

8:18am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:49pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

88.48% illuminated

Distance:

1.39891978 AU = 209,275,420 km = 130,037,719 miles = 11.65 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

6.69 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

77.11 (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 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Mars will be 26.4 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

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

4:53pm

Transits:

9:58pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:03am - Oct 3

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.37% illuminated

Distance:

4.3555783 AU = 651,585,240 km = 404,876,302 miles = 36.28 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.7

Apparent size:

45.26 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

127.40 (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


Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Oct 3, 2009 at 2:37am (The Red Spot transits about every 10 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 139.6
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Io occultation begins on Saturday Oct 3, 2009 at 1:16am when Jupiter is 16.2 above the horizon

On 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Jupiter will be 26.4 above the southeast horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes.
Notice all four of Jupiter's Galilean moons lined up on one side of the planet - and in the correct sequence from closest to farthest.


 
Next is an animated view of Jupiter as seen from overhead, starting at the same time as the image above.  There are 24 frames separated by one hour.  The moons travel around Jupiter in a counter-clockwise direction, but we can never see the circular orbits, only the left-to-right or right-to-left oscillating motion since the plane of the Galilean moons' orbits is parallel to our line-of-sight.  You can see the sunlit side of Jupiter at the left, and that's the general direction of the Earth (and us!), but over 400 million miles distant.  Notice how Io and Europa change color from purple to orange when they rotate around the unlit side of Jupiter - this indicates they are being eclipsed by Jupiter's shadow and are hidden from our sight.  See how the inner moons travel much faster than the outer moons?  Take a look at Kepler's Third Law of Planetary Motion for an explanation.  It's the same reason Mercury travels around the Sun much quicker than Jupiter, for example.  It takes Jupiter 12 years to make one orbit around the Sun, but only 88 days for Mercury to make one orbit.  Not only do the runners on the inside lanes have less distance to travel, but they're much faster, too!  Not a fair race at all.


Information on Jupiter's Galilean moons:

  Io  -  mag 5.4
      Orbits in 1.8 days = 42.5 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00281822 AU = 421,600 km = 261,970 miles = 1.41 light-seconds
      Radius: 105% of our Moon
      Mass: 122% of our Moon

  Europa  -  mag 5.5
      Orbits in 3.6 days = 85.2 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00448469 AU = 670,900 km = 416,878 miles = 2.24 light-seconds
      Radius: 90% of our Moon
      Mass: 65% of our Moon

  Ganymede  -  mag 4.8
      Orbits in 7.2 days = 171.7 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00715251 AU = 1,070,000 km = 664,867 miles = 3.57 light-seconds
      Radius: 150% of our Moon
      Mass: 200% of our Moon

  Callisto  -  mag 6.1
      Orbits in 16.7 days = 400.5 hours
      Mean orbital radius = 0.01258708 AU = 1,883,000 km = 1,170,042 miles = 6.29 light-seconds
      Radius: 138% of our Moon
      Mass: 146% of our Moon

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')

 

Saturn data
 
Rises:

  6:15am

Transits:

12:31pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:47pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

10.41955051 AU = 1,558,742,570 km = 968,557,741 miles = 1.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

15.95 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

13.19 (morning 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 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Saturn will be 15.5 below the west horizon


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:

6:22pm

Transits:

0:16am - Oct 3 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:11am - Oct 3

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.13380184 AU = 2,862,376,014 km = 1,778,598,019 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

164.07 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 at 5:34am

Next:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 12:51pm


On 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Uranus will be 17.6 above the east horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

  5:08pm

Transits:

10:23pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  3:39am - Oct 3

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

29.32269556 AU = 4,386,612,819 km = 2,725,714,871 miles = 4.07 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.9

Apparent size:

2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

134.04 (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 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Neptune will be 26.2 above the southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  1:42pm

Transits:

  6:41pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:41pm

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.85932192 AU = 4,766,086,720 km = 2,961,509,025 miles = 4.42 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

80.89 (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 10/2/2009 at 8:04:53pm Pluto will be 27.7 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 has past its inferior conjunction on Sept 20, 2009
and that Venus is approaching superior conjunction on Jan 11, 2010 at 5:52am


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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 well-past opposition and that Uranus reached opposition on Sept 17, 2009.
Also notice that Saturn has passed conjunction and has now joined Mercury and Venus in the morning sky visible before sunrise.



(back to 'Quick Links')
 

Click HERE for event status (includes Clear Sky Chart).

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.

Click HERE for satellite passes this evening

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

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