Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 10/1/2010  8:00 pm

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Tonight, we're essentially Moon-free for nearly the entire session.  We have a 40% illuminated (waning crescent) Moon that won't rise until after 1:00am Saturday morning.  This is one of those nights we wait for since all the faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) will be visible due to the absence of the Moon.  We have the colorful double stars and open clusters made up of hundreds of stars that will look beautiful; the globular clusters will be fantastic as will the planetary nebula formed by dying stars.  The diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born will also be visible.  Galaxies will be available to us as well.  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.

How about the planets...which ones can we see tonight? 

    Sun is obviously unavailable to us, it IS night time after all. ;^)
    Mercury is no longer visible in the evening. It is now a morning object and visible before sunrise.
    Venus, with a waning crescent phase, is nearly lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is 6.5 to Venus' upper right, but also lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Jupiter is with us all night now and It's HUGE and BRIGHT!
    Saturn is no longer visible before sunset.  It's gone for the year as an evening object.
    Uranus is with us all night and is less than 1.5 to Jupiter's upper left
    Neptune is now easily visible after dark and for the entire night  30 to the west of Jupiter
 
  Pluto is up tonight, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!  We can show you where it is, though.  OK, OK...if you want to try to see it, we'll try!
    Moon won't be with us until it rises at 1:00am Saturday morning.


Click here for additional information on the planets not listed in the detail below.

Click here for a list of constellations we can see tonight before midnight.

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our sixteenth 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 10/01/2010 at 8:07:03pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:19 19:10
  Mercury Virgo -1.2 06:16 18:51
  Venus Libra -4.6 10:31 19:59
Mars   Libra 1.5 10:09 20:29
Jupiter   Pisces -2.9 18:38 06:29
  Saturn Virgo 0.9 07:15 19:17
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 18:37 06:37
Neptune   Capricornus 7.8 17:19 03:55
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 13:58 23:52
  Moon Gemini -9.7 00:59 15:59
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:

7:19am

Transits:

1:15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:10pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

1.00103347 AU = 149,752,476 km = 93,051,876 miles = 8.34 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.95 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

7:35pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

8:07pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

8:39pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Fall began:

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

Winter begins:

at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Tuesday Dec 21, 2010 at 6:39pm

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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon
Current live mage of the Sun in heavily-filtered white light as provided by the SOHO site.
Notice the graphic below the image that shows the relative size of Jupiter and Earth compared to the Sun:
Never EVER point your telescope at the Sun!!!  Instantaneous and permanent eye damage will result!!!
Very special equipment is required to provide an image like this...don't try this at home.


Click here for additional data on the Sun

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Moon data
 
Rises:

0:59am - Oct 2

Transits:

8:34am - Oct 2 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

3:59pm - Oct 2

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

40.75% illuminated (waning crescent)

Distance:

0.00251817 AU = 376,713 km = 234,079 miles = 1.26 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-9.7

Apparent size:

31.71 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

79.20 (morning sky)

Age:

23d 13h 40m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Last Quarter on Thursday Sep 30, 2010 at 11:52pm

Next Phase:

New Moon on Thursday Oct 7, 2010 at 2:45pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm the Moon will be 28.7 below the north horizon
but would look like this in our telescopes at very low power*
when it rises above the trees at 2:30am Saturday morning:

 

*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

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.

Mercury data
 
Rises:

  6:16am

Transits:

12:34pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:51pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

89.98% illuminated

Distance:

1.25106344 AU = 187,156,426 km = 116,293,613 miles = 10.42 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-1.2

Apparent size:

5.38 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

11.73 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

Sunday, January 9, 2011 (23 16' 55")


On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Mercury will be 15
below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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.

Venus data
 
Rises:

10:31am

Transits:

  3:15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:59pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

18.54% illuminated

Distance:

0.36879843 AU = 55,171,460 km = 34,281,956 miles = 3.07 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.6 (extremely bright, the brightest thing in the evening sky except for the Moon)

Apparent size:

45.24 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

34.36 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

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


On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Venus will be 2.5 below the southwest horizon
but will look like this in our telescopes at high power at 6:30pm, 40 minutes before the Sun sets:


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 Venus

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.

Mars data
 
Rises:

10:09am

Transits:

  3:19pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  8:29pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

96.70% illuminated

Distance:

2.26039062 AU = 338,149,624 km = 210,116,438 miles = 18.83 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.5

Apparent size:

4.14 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/500th the apparent diameter of the Moon!

Elongation from Sun:

32.85 (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.

Click here:

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


On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Mars will be 2.8 above the 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:

6:38pm

Transits:

0:33am - Oct 2 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:29am - Oct 2

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.96% illuminated

Distance:

3.97251697 AU = 594,280,080 km = 369,268,526 miles = 33.09 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.9

Apparent size:

49.63 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

168.18 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 7:28am

Next:

Friday Oct 28, 2011 at 9:37pm


Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Oct 02, 2010 at 4:27am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 146.7
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
          Io transit ends on Friday Oct 01, 2010 at 9:31pm when Jupiter is 29.5 above the horizon
          Io shadow transit ends on Friday Oct 01, 2010 at 9:48pm when Jupiter is 32.1 above the horizon

On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Jupiter will be 15.3 above the east horizon
and will look like this with its four moons at high power in our telescopes.
Notice that the GRS (Great Red Spot) is about to rotate away from our view and that Io and its shadow are transiting Jupiter.

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 Jupiter

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.

Saturn data
 
Rises:

7:15am

Transits:

1:16pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:17pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

10.55787058 AU = 1,579,434,957 km = 981,415,395 miles = 1.47 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.9

Apparent size:

15.74 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

2.32 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Saturn will be 10.4 below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Saturn

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.

Uranus data
 
Rises:

6:37pm

Transits:

0:37am - Oct 2 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:37am - Oct 2

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.10687343 AU = 2,858,347,581 km = 1,776,094,866 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

169.45 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 12:51pm

Next:

Sunday Sep 25, 2011 at 8:07pm


On 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Uranus will be 15.6 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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.

Neptune data
 
Rises:

  5:19pm

Transits:

10:37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  3:55am - Oct 2

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

29.27041088 AU = 4,378,791,142 km = 2,720,854,706 miles = 4.06 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

137.55 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Neptune will be 25.4 above the southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

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.

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  1:58pm

Transits:

  6:55pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:52pm

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.99265589 AU = 4,786,033,199 km = 2,973,903,192 miles = 4.44 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

84.19 (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 10/1/2010 at 8:07:03pm Pluto will be 27.9 above the south horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 10/1/2010
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury has passed greatest western elongation but is still a morning object.
Venus passed greatest eastern elongation on August 20, 2010 and will reach inferior conjunction on Oct 29, 2010
Mars is very far away and getting farther and smaller all the time.  It will reach conjunction on Feb 4, 2011 and be 220,700,000 miles away.
(back to 'Quick Links')

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 10/1/2010
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter reached opposition on Sept 21, 2010
Saturn reached conjunction on Sept 30, 2010
Uranus reached opposition on Sept 21, 2010 and is heading for eastern quadrature on Dec 18, 2010
Neptune will reach eastern quadrature on Nov 18, 2010
Pluto's orbit can be seen to be extremely eccentric (non-circular) and tilted to the plane of the ecliptic.

(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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