Event Report:

Another successful night of stargazing at Fishcreek.
Admittedly marginal conditions allowed confirmed views of
several deep sky objects including Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1)
in Vulpecula directly below the "Coathanger" cluster.

Special thanks to the following ACA members for setting up equipment:
Freddy Huffman
Lew Snodgrass
Rosaelena Villaseņor


We hope to see you for our next planned event on 9/9/2011
.

Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 9/2/2011 at 8
:30 pm

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

Click here for Comet Garradd information

Click here for chart of Solar/Lunar/planet availability for tonight. 

Tonight, we'll have a beautiful waxing crescent Moon with us until it sets at 10:29pm.  A tremendous amount of detail will be visible on the terminator - the line separating lunar night from day.  In addition, we'll have all the DSO's (Deep Space Objects) available after the Moon sets.  Jupiter will be visible by 11:30pm after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field.  Beautiful Saturn with its magnificent rings and moons, is almost gone for another several months.  As a matter of fact, tonight just might be the last Friday evening when it will be visible until next April.  Why?  Because the Earth's motion around the Sun has carried us far enough so that Saturn is nearly lost in the glare of the Sun.  For the same reason, Jupiter is rising early enough now for us to see this king of the planets.  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 be visible.  Galaxies will be available to us, but difficult unless the night is perfectly clear.

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 will be night time after all. 
    Mercury is rising 90 minutes before sunrise and is visible in the east before sunrise.
    Venus is now setting 17 minutes after sunset and lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. 
    Mars is a late night object now, rising at 2:33am.
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 10:16pm.
    Saturn is visible in the evening until it sets at 9:30pm.
    Uranus rises at 8:44pm.
    Neptune rises at 7:22pm.
 
  Pluto rises at 4:03pm, but so incredibly small and dim that we can't see a thing in our telescopes!  We can show you where it is.  OK, OK...if you want to try to see it, we'll try.  Don't expect to see anything, though!
    Moon will be at first quarter phase two days.  It sets at 10:29pm tonight.


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

- - - - - Click here for map - - - - -

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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:49 20:00
  Mercury Leo -0.2 05:19 19:12
  Venus Leo -3.9 07:12 20:17
  Mars Gemini 1.4 02:33 17:38
  Jupiter Aries -2.7 22:16 12:04
Saturn   Virgo 0.9 09:48 21:30
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 20:44 08:58
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 19:22 06:05
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 16:03 01:54
Moon   Libra -9.2 12:24 22:29
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:

6:49am

Transits:

1:25pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:00pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.00892589 AU = 150,933,165 km = 93,785,522 miles = 8.4 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.70 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:25pm - Sun is   6° below the horizon

Nautical:

8:59pm - Sun is 12° below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:34pm - Sun is 18° below the horizon

Summer began:

at the Summer Solstice which occurred on Tuesday Jun 21, 2011 at 1:17pm

Fall begins:

at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Friday Sep 23, 2011 at 5:05am

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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm the Sun will be 12° below the west horizon
Below is the current image of the Sun in heavily-filtered white light updated each morning on 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')

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Moon data
 
Rises:

12:24pm

Transits:

  5:30pm (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

10:29pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

31.13% illuminated (waxing crescent)

Distance:

0.00245325 AU = 367,001 km = 228,044 miles = 1.23 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-9.2

Apparent size:

32.55 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

67.70° (evening sky)

Age:

4d 21h 50m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

New Moon on Sunday Aug 28, 2011 at 11:04pm

Next Phase:

First Quarter on Sunday Sep 4, 2011 at 1:39pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm the Moon will be 12.4° above the southwest horizon
This is what the Moon will look in our telescopes at 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:

  5:19am

Transits:

12:16pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:12pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

43.79% illuminated

Distance:

0.91968458 AU = 137,582,855 km = 85,490,024 miles = 7.66 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.2

Apparent size:

7.31 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

18.11° (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

Saturday, September 3, 2011 (18° 06' 39")

Evening:

Monday, November 14, 2011 (22° 44' 52")


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Mercury will be 18.5° below the west-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Venus data
 
Rises:

7:12am

Transits:

1:45pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:17pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

99.62% illuminated

Distance:

1.71923923 AU = 257,194,528 km = 159,813,272 miles = 14.32 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-3.9 (extremely bright, but lost in the glare of the Sun)

Apparent size:

9.71 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

5.01° (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 (46° 02' 27")

Morning:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (45° 48' 10")


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Venus will be 8.8° below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Mars data
 
Rises:

  2:33am

Transits:

10:06am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:38pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

93.24% illuminated

Distance:

1.98124398 AU = 296,389,880 km = 184,168,135 miles = 16.5 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.4

Apparent size:

4.72 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/400th the apparent diameter of the Moon!

Elongation from Sun:

50.21° (morning 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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Mars will be 24.3° below the north-northwest 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:

10:16pm

Transits:

  5:10am - Sep 3 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

12:04pm - Sep 3

Constellation:

Aries

Phase:

99.22% illuminated

Distance:

4.37644655 AU = 654,707,085 km = 406,816,127 miles = 36.45 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.7

Apparent size:

45.05 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

119.88° (morning 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 Sep 03, 2011 at 3:49am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 168.8°
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Io shadow transit begins on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 2:32am when Jupiter is 45.8° above the horizon
        Io transit begins on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 3:45am when Jupiter is 56.7° above the horizon
        Io shadow transit ends on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 4:42am when Jupiter is 61.7° above the horizon
        Io transit ends on Saturday Sep 03, 2011 at 5:53am when Jupiter is 60.9° above the horizon

On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Jupiter will be 14.2° below the northeast horizon
At 11:45pm tonight, when Jupiter clears the trees to the east of the observing field, it
will look like this in our telescopes at high power.

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:

9:48am

Transits:

3:39pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

9:30pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.91% illuminated

Distance:

10.46392294 AU = 1,565,380,591 km = 972,682,416 miles = 1.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.9

Apparent size:

15.88 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

35.25° (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Sunday Apr 3, 2011 at 7:48pm

Next:

Sunday Apr 15, 2012 at 2:19pm


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Saturn will be 4.8° above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes at high power.

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:

8:44pm

Transits:

2:51am - Sep 3 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:58am - Sep 3

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.15032869 AU = 2,864,848,395 km = 1,780,134,285 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

156.74° (morning 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 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Uranus will be 1.7° above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Neptune data
 
Rises:

7:22pm

Transits:

0:43am - Sep 3 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

6:05am - Sep 3

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.01530779 AU = 4,340,628,262 km = 2,697,141,392 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

168.99° (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Monday Aug 22, 2011 at 7:18pm

Next:

Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24am


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Neptune will be 15.5° above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

.

Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

4:03pm

Transits:

8:59pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:54am - Sep 3

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.65424493 AU = 4,735,407,639 km = 2,942,445,927 miles = 4.39 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

114.64° (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Tuesday Jun 28, 2011 at 1:23am

Next:

Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03am


On 9/2/2011 at 8:59:02pm Pluto will be 29.8° 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 on 9/2/2011
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury is rising 90 minutes before sunrise and reaches maximum western elongation (visible in the morning) tomorrow
Venus is setting 17 minutes after sunset and is lost in the glare of the sun.  It reached superior conjunction on Aug 16, 2011 at 1:29:05am
Mars reached conjunction on Feb 4, 2011 and was 220,700,000 miles away.  It's now getting closer and will be closest on 3/3/2012

(back to 'Quick Links')

Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 9/2/2011
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
The Earth is catching up with Jupiter which will reach opposition on Oct 28, 2011
Saturn reached eastern quadrature on July 3, 2011 and is now visible until it sets at 9:30pm
Uranus will reach opposition on Sep 25, 2011 and rises at 8:44pm
Neptune reached opposition on Aug 22, 2011 and rises at 7:22pm
Pluto's orbit can be seen to be extremely eccentric (non-circular) and tilted to the plane of the ecliptic.  It reached opposition on June 28, 2011

(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

Click here for Comet Garradd information

Click here for chart of Solar/Lunar/planet availability for tonight. 

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

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