Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 10/15/2010  8:00 pm


Tonight's event has been CANCELLED
due to deteriorating sky conditions,
the condition of the observing field
and other unexpected circumstances.

We'll try again on Saturday, Oct 30, 2010
at 4:00pm for the Night Kite Flight
at Silver Springs Camp Ground.

 

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

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Tonight, we have a bright 61% illuminated gibbous Moon with us the entire session.  This is one of those nights when the Moon will show lots of detail on the terminator, the line separating lunar night from day, but will prevent us from seeing the faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) due to its brightness.  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 - and now it's rising early enough to see without having to wait.  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 mornning. It is now on the far side of the Sun.
    Venus is lost in the glare of the Sun at sunset.
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. ;^)
    Mars is still visible in the west immediately after sunset, but is setting shortly after the Sun.
    Jupiter is with us all night now and It's HUGE and BRIGHT.  Truly the King of the planets!
    Saturn is now a morning object and is visible before sunrise.
    Uranus is with us all night and 2 to Jupiter's east.
    Neptune is now easily visible in our telescopes 30 to Jupiter's west.
 
  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 is 61% illuminated waxing gibbous and will be with us until it sets at 1:29am Saturday morning.
    Comet P/Hartley (103P) is in Perseus at magnitude 4.6


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 10/08/2010 at 7:44:44pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:34 18:47
  Mercury Virgo -1.3 07:28 18:49
  Venus Libra -4.5 09:36 18:59
Mars   Libra 1.5 10:04 20:01
Jupiter   Aquarius -2.9 17:39 05:26
  Saturn Virgo 0.9 06:28 18:26
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 17:40 05:39
Neptune   Capricornus 7.9 16:23 02:59
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 13:04 22:58
Moon   Capricornus -5.2 15:06 01:29
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:

7:34am

Transits:

1:11pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:47pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

0.99702338 AU = 149,152,574 km = 92,679,114 miles = 8.3 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

32.08 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

7:13pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

7:45pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

8:17pm - 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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-southwest 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:

3:06pm

Transits:

8:14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:29am - Oct 16

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

60.58% illuminated (waxing gibbous)

Distance:

0.00265949 AU = 397,854 km = 247,215 miles = 1.33 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-10.5

Apparent size:

30.02 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

102.06 (evening sky)

Age:

8d 5h 2m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

First Quarter on Thursday Oct 14, 2010 at 5:27pm

Next Phase:

Full Moon on Friday Oct 22, 2010 at 9:36pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm the Moon will be 30.9 above the south-southeast horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at very low power*
:

Note: All computer-generated graphics are correct-image representations.
A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.


*
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      

Click here for additional data on the Moon

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Mercury data
 
Rises:

7:28am

Transits:

1:09pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:49pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

97.93% illuminated

Distance:

1.41253258 AU = 211,311,866 km = 131,303,108 miles = 11.77 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-1.5

Apparent size:

4.76 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

1.24 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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


On 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Mercury will be 11.5
below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Venus data
 
Rises:

9:36am

Transits:

2:18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:59pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

6.36% illuminated

Distance:

0.29876786 AU = 44,695,036 km = 27,772,208 miles = 2.49 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.4 (extremely bright, but lost in the glare of the setting Sun)

Apparent size:

55.85 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

20.81 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

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


On 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Venus will be 8.8 below the west-southwest horizon
but would look like this in our telescopes at high power 40 minutes before Sunset IF it weren't lost in the glare of the Sun:
Note how much larger it is than a month ago, and now a very thin crescent phase.



Note: All computer-generated 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

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Mars data
 
Rises:

10:04am

Transits:

  3:03pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  8:01pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

97.38% illuminated

Distance:

2.29681726 AU = 343,598,972 km = 213,502,506 miles = 19.13 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.5

Apparent size:

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

Elongation from Sun:

28.76 (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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Mars will be 1.7 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:

  5:39pm

Transits:

11:32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:26am - Oct 16

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

99.79% illuminated

Distance:

4.04754516 AU = 605,504,138 km = 376,242,833 miles = 33.71 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.9

Apparent size:

48.71 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

152.79 (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: Friday Oct 15, 2010 at 8:03pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 147.0
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
      Io transit begins on Friday Oct 15, 2010 at 10:47pm when Jupiter is 44.3 above the horizon
      Io shadow transit begins on Friday Oct 15, 2010 at 11:25pm when Jupiter is 45.5 above the horizon
      Io transit ends on Saturday Oct 16, 2010 at 1:01am when Jupiter is 41.2 above the horizon
      Io shadow transit ends on Saturday Oct 16, 2010 at 1:39am when Jupiter is 37 above the horizon

On 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Jupiter will be 21.7 above the east-southeast horizon
and will look like this with its four moons at high power in our telescopes:
Note that we'll be able to see the GRS and watch Io and its shadow transit Jupiter during our session tonight

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

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Saturn data
 
Rises:

  6:28am

Transits:

12:27pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:26pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

10.53030383 AU = 1,575,311,030 km = 978,852,905 miles = 1.46 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.9

Apparent size:

15.78 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

13.11 (morning 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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Saturn will be 15.8 below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Saturn

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.

Uranus data
 
Rises:

  5:40pm

Transits:

11:40pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:39am - Oct 16

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.18250954 AU = 2,869,662,582 km = 1,783,125,682 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.67 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

155.14 (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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Uranus will be 21.6 above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Neptune data
 
Rises:

4:23pm

Transits:

9:41pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:59am - Oct 16

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

29.45404719 AU = 4,406,262,743 km = 2,737,924,768 miles = 4.09 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.9

Apparent size:

2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

123.53 (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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Neptune will be 29.2 above the southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  1:04pm

Transits:

  6:01pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:58pm

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

32.23150076 AU = 4,821,763,882 km = 2,996,105,209 miles = 4.47 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

70.60 (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 10/15/2010 at 7:44:44pm Pluto will be 25.5 above the south-southwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Comet P/Hartley (103P)
 
Rises:

N/A - currently circumpolar

Transits:

4:14am - Oct 16 - Time of highest position in the sky, due North

Sets:

N/A - currently circumpolar

Constellation:

Perseus

Phase:

81.94% illuminated

Distance:

0.12516129 AU = 18,723,862 km = 11,634,469 miles = 1.04 light-minutes

Magnitude:

4.6

Speed of apparent motion:

7.684'/hour.  Motion is -2.56/day in RA, -1.69/day in DEC

Elongation from Sun:

124.16 degrees (morning sky)

Orbital Parameters

Period of Orbit:

6.47 years (2363.3 days)

Perihelion distance:

1.0586680 AU - distance from the Sun when closest

Aphelion distance:

5.89 AU - distance from the Sun when furthest

Semimajor axis:

3.4723177 AU

Eccentricity:

0.6951120 - indicates the amount of "out-of-roundness" of the orbit

Inclination of orbit:

13.6168

Argument of perihelion:

181.1953

Long. ascending node:

219.7663

Date of perihelion:

Oct 28, 2010 6:14:58am

Apparent position at 8:16:33pm tonight (current epoch):

RA:

4h 28m 11.4s

DEC:

N49 20' 28.9"


On 10/15/2010 at 8:16:33pm Comet P/Hartley (103P) will be 14.8 above the northeast horizon
Here's a chart of its exact position at the time of Astronomical Twilight on Oct 15, 2010:


Click here for additional data on Comet P/Hartley (103P) from Sky&Telescope
Click here for a star chart showing the position of this comet for the next three weeks

(back to 'Quick Links')



Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 10/15/2010
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury is about to reach Superior conjunction on Oct 17, 2010.
Venus is about to 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 10/15/2010
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter reached opposition on Sept 21, 2010
Saturn reached conjunction on Sept 30, 2010 and is now a morning object
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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