Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 8/27/2010  9:00 pm

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HERE for a printer-friendly version of the information on this page.

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Tonight, we'll have a bright waning gibbous Moon with us for nearly the entire night after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 10:30pm.  As you know, those faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) will be pretty much masked by the brightness of the Moon.
     Venus is still amazingly bright in the west-southwest
     Mars is 3.4 to Venus' upper right.  Note that Venus appears far brighter than Mars.
     Saturn is beautiful with its nearly edge-on rings and several moons visible (but sinking fast in the west)
     Jupiter and its four moons is now rising early enough for us and will be visible just after 10:30pm.
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.
     Oh, one more thing...Mars will most definitely NOT "be as big as the Moon!" tonight as has been emailed around for the past seven years.  It currently is a fairly bright 1.5 magnitude reddish star-like object setting in the west at 9:49pm.  Click HERE for additional details on this annual "Mars Hoax."


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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:44 20:09
  Mercury Leo 2.8 07:58 20:14
Venus   Virgo -4.4 10:42 21:41
Mars   Virgo 1.5 10:27 21:49
  Jupiter Pisces -2.9 21:05 09:09
Saturn   Virgo 1.0 09:11 21:25
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 20:57 09:01
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 19:39 06:17
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 16:15 02:10
Moon   Pisces -11.6 20:59 10:41
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

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Sun data
 
Rises:

6:44am

Transits:

1:27pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:09pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.0101971 AU = 151,123,335 km = 93,903,688 miles = 8.41 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.66 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:35pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

9:09pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:45pm - 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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-northwest horizon

Click
HERE for additional data on the Sun

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Moon data
 
Rises:

  8:59pm

Transits:

  3:45am - Aug 28 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

10:41am - Aug 28

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

89.94% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.0026969 AU = 403,451 km = 250,693 miles = 1.35 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-11.6

Apparent size:

29.61 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

142.93 (morning sky)

Age:

17d 22h 4m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

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

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Wednesday Sep 1, 2010 at 1:22pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm the Moon will be 0.5 above the east-northeast horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at very low power* when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 10:30pm:

*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')

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Mercury data
 
Rises:

7:58am

Transits:

2:06pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:14pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

7.81% illuminated

Distance:

0.63491963 AU = 94,982,625 km = 59,019,468 miles = 5.29 light-minutes

Magnitude:

2.8

Apparent size:

10.59 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

12.75 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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


On 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Mercury will be 11.4
below the west horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Venus data
 
Rises:

10:42am

Transits:

  4:12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:41pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

44.24% illuminated

Distance:

0.62137074 AU = 92,955,739 km = 57,760,019 miles = 5.18 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.4 (extremely bright, the brightest thing in the evening sky except for the Moon)

Apparent size:

26.85 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

45.72 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46 02' 27")


On 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Venus will be 4.7 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')

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Mars data
 
Rises:

10:27am

Transits:

  4:08pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:49pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

94.77% illuminated

Distance:

2.13204772 AU = 318,949,799 km = 198,186,219 miles = 17.76 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.5

Apparent size:

4.39 arcseconds in angular diameter - about 1/500th the apparent diameter of the Moon!

Elongation from Sun:

43.60 (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.

Click HERE:

For a table of close encounters with Mars from 1969 to 2052


On 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Mars will be 6.3 above the west-southwest horizon

Question: Will Mars be "as big as a Full Moon on August 27!" ???
 Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

Question: Will there be "Two Full Moons in the Sky!" ???
 Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

Mars was the closest in recorded history on August 27, but that was only in 2003, not every year!
At that time, it appeared to be 1/75
th the apparent diameter of the Moon!  NOT the "same size as the Full Moon".

Please check these respected sites for their stories on the "Mars hoax" by clicking on the links below:

    Sky & Telescope

   
Snopes.com

    Hoax-slayer

    Universe Today

Click HERE for additional data on Mars

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Jupiter data
 
Rises:

9:05pm

Transits:

3:07am - Aug 28 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:09am - Aug 28

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.79% illuminated

Distance:

4.03769725 AU = 604,030,911 km = 375,327,412 miles = 33.63 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.9

Apparent size:

48.83 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

153.20 (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: Saturday Aug 28, 2010 at 0:41am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 146.0
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
         Europa shadow transit begins on Saturday Aug 28, 2010 at 0:55am when Jupiter is 38.2 above the horizon
         Europa transit begins on Saturday Aug 28, 2010 at 2:11am when Jupiter is 46 above the horizon
         Europa shadow transit ends on Saturday Aug 28, 2010 at 3:42am when Jupiter is 47.2 above the horizon
         Europa transit ends on Saturday Aug 28, 2010 at 4:52am when Jupiter is 41.7 above the horizon

On 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Jupiter will be 0.4 below the east horizon
but will look like this with its four moons at 10:30pm 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:

9:11am

Transits:

3:18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:25pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.93% illuminated

Distance:

10.41730975 AU = 1,558,407,357 km = 968,349,450 miles = 1.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.0

Apparent size:

15.95 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

29.09 (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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Saturn will be 2 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this with five 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:

8:57pm

Transits:

2:59am - Aug 28 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:01am - Aug 28

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.1719231 AU = 2,868,078,872 km = 1,782,141,610 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

155.09 (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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Uranus will be 1 below the east horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Neptune data
 
Rises:

7:39pm

Transits:

0:58am - Aug 28 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:17am - Aug 28

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.01602792 AU = 4,340,735,992 km = 2,697,208,332 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

172.42 (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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Neptune will be 14.3 above the east-southeast horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

4:15pm

Transits:

9:13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:10am - Aug 28

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.40003706 AU = 4,697,378,684 km = 2,918,815,830 miles = 4.36 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

118.10 (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 8/27/2010 at 9:09:24pm Pluto will be 30.3 above the south-southeast horizon

Click HERE for additional data on Pluto

(back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
You can see that Mercury has already reached greatest eastern elongation (on August 7, 2010)
as did Venus last Friday (August 20, 2010).  Also, look how far away Mars is - and getting farther and smaller all the time!

(back to 'Quick Links')

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
You can see that Neptune reached opposition last Friday (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"

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