Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 8/20/2010  9:00 pm

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Tonight, we'll have a bright nearly-full Moon with us for nearly the entire night.  As you know, those faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) will be pretty much masked by the brightness of the Moon.  Sadly, Mercury is now invisible - lost in the glare of the setting Sun.  Venus is amazingly bright, Mars is still visible and Saturn is beautiful with its nearly edge-on rings and several moons visible.  Jupiter is now rising early enough for us and will be visible just after 11:00pm.  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, including M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy - our closest neighboring island universe - will be ours for the asking if you stay late enough.  Bring binoculars if you have a pair and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy with them!  Also, we'll show you how to find the beautiful "Coat hanger" cluster which is best seen in binoculars.

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!

- - - - - - Our location - - - - - -

Longitude:

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

 337m

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

The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:37 20:20
  Mercury Leo 1.3 08:35 20:50
Venus   Virgo -4.3 10:35 21:57
Mars   Virgo 1.5 10:32 22:07
  Jupiter Pisces -2.8 21:34 09:40
Saturn   Virgo 1.1 09:35 21:51
  Uranus Pisces 5.7 21:25 09:30
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 20:07 06:45
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 16:43 02:38
Moon   Sagittarius -11.6 17:59 03:42
Click HERE for information on the planets such as orbital and rotational periods, velocities, distances, etc. not listed in the detail provided below.

Quick links:
    Inner Solar System     Outer Solar System

Sun data
 
Rises:

6:37am

Transits:

1:29pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:20pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.01169288 AU = 151,347,101 km = 94,042,730 miles = 8.43 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.62 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:46pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

9:22pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:59pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Summer began:

at the Summer Solstice which occurred on Monday Jun 21, 2010 at 7:29am

Fall begins:

at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Wednesday Sep 22, 2010 at 11:10pm

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 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Click
HERE for additional data on the Sun

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Moon data
 
Rises:

  5:59pm

Transits:

10:48pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

  3:42am - Aug 21

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

88.39% illuminated (waxing gibbous)

Distance:

0.00266006 AU = 397,939 km = 247,268 miles = 1.33 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-11.6

Apparent size:

30.02 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

140.07 (evening sky)

Age:

10d 22h 19m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

First Quarter on Monday Aug 16, 2010 at 2:14pm

Next Phase:

Full Moon on Tuesday Aug 24, 2010 at 1:05pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm the Moon will be 23.4 above the south-southeast 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.

Click HERE for additional data on the Moon

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mercury data
 
Rises:

8:35am

Transits:

2:43pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:50pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

22.42% illuminated

Distance:

0.69590475 AU = 104,105,869 km = 64,688,389 miles = 5.8 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.3

Apparent size:

9.66 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

21.51 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

Sunday, September 19, 2010 (17 52' 13")

Morning:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (21 27' 14")


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Mercury will be 7
below the west horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Venus data
 
Rises:

10:35am

Transits:

  4:16pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:57pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

48.18% illuminated

Distance:

0.6767279 AU = 101,237,053 km = 62,905,789 miles = 5.64 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.3 (extremely bright, the brightest thing in the evening sky except for the Moon)

Apparent size:

24.66 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

45.43 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Venus will be 5.5 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at high power at the time of Civil Twilight...



Click HERE for additional data on Venus

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Mars data
 
Rises:

10:32am

Transits:

  4:19pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:07pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

94.35% illuminated

Distance:

2.0996422 AU = 314,102,003 km = 195,173,939 miles = 17.49 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.5

Apparent size:

4.46 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

45.85 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Jan 29, 2010 at 2:21pm. Distance: 99,400,435 km. Size: 14.08 arcseconds.

Next:

Saturday Mar 3, 2012 at 3:52pm. Distance: 100,839,728 km. Size: 13.88 arcseconds.


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Mars will be 7.3 above the west-southwest 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

Click HERE for additional data on Mars

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Jupiter data
 
Rises:

9:34pm

Transits:

3:37am - Aug 21 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:40am - Aug 21

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.67% illuminated

Distance:

4.09177616 AU = 612,121,001 km = 380,354,361 miles = 34.08 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.8

Apparent size:

48.18 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

145.79 (morning 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: Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 11:56pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 145.9
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Europa shadow transit begins on Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 10:19pm when Jupiter is 7.2 above the horizon
        Calisto eclipse begins on Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 11:16pm when Jupiter is 17.7 above the horizon
        Europa transit begins on Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 11:54pm when Jupiter is 24.4 above the horizon
        Europa shadow transit ends on Saturday Aug 21, 2010 at 1:07am when Jupiter is 36 above the horizon
        Calisto eclipse ends on Saturday Aug 21, 2010 at 1:12am when Jupiter is 36.7 above the horizon
        Europa transit ends on Saturday Aug 21, 2010 at 2:36am when Jupiter is 45.9 above the horizon

On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Jupiter will be 3.6 below the east-northeast horizon
but will look like this with its four moons at 11:01pm when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field:

Click HERE for additional data on Jupiter

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Saturn data
 
Rises:

9:35am

Transits:

3:43pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:51pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.91% illuminated

Distance:

10.35571835 AU = 1,549,193,414 km = 962,624,171 miles = 1.44 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

16.05 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

35.04 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Sunday Mar 21, 2010 at 8:28pm

Next:

Sunday Apr 3, 2011 at 7:48pm


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Saturn will be 4.5 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this with six of its moons in our telescopes at high power at the time of Civil Twilight...

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.

Click HERE for additional data on Saturn

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Uranus data
 
Rises:

9:25pm

Transits:

3:28am - Aug 21 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:30am - Aug 21

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

19.22662776 AU = 2,876,262,574 km = 1,787,226,727 miles = 2.67 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

148.12 (morning 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 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Uranus will be 1.9 below the east-northeast horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Neptune data
 
Rises:

8:07pm

Transits:

1:26am - Aug 21 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:45am - Aug 21

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.00629318 AU = 4,339,279,696 km = 2,696,303,432 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

179.20 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 5:59am

Next:

Monday Aug 22, 2011 at 7:18pm


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Neptune will be 11.8 above the east-southeast horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

 

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

4:43pm

Transits:

9:40pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:38am - Aug 21

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.29533479 AU = 4,681,715,447 km = 2,909,083,145 miles = 4.34 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.11 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

124.87 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Jun 25, 2010 at 2:59pm

Next:

Tuesday Jun 28, 2011 at 1:23am


On 8/20/2010 at 9:21:39pm Pluto will be 30.2 above the south-southeast horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Pluto

(back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
You can see that Mercury has already reached greatest eastern elongation (on August 7, 2010)
and Venus reaches it tonight! (August 20, 2010)

(back to 'Quick Links')

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
You can see that Neptune reached opposition today (August 20, 2010)
with Jupiter and Uranus both approaching opposition which will occur on September 21, 2010
(back to 'Quick Links')


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.

Click
HERE for satellite passes this evening

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

(back to 'Quick Links')

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