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This event has been CANCELLED due to
heavy cloud cover and soaked observing field

We'll try again in two weeks - Friday - 9/30/2011
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Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 9/16/2011 at 8
:00 pm


Click
here for event status

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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 chart of Solar/Lunar/planet availability for tonight. 

Tonight we'll have an 82% illuminated waning gibbous Moon with us after it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 10:50pm.  The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be difficult in the glare of the Moon.  However, Jupiter will be visible by 10:50pm 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 56 minutes before sunrise and is visible, with difficulty, in the east before sunrise.
    Venus is now setting 24 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 2:21am.
    Jupiter is a night object rising at 9:20pm.
    Saturn is visible, with diffculty, in the evening until it sets at 8:39pm.
    Uranus rises at 7:47pm.
    Neptune rises at 6:26pm.
 
  Pluto rises at 3:08pm, 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 almost full rising at 9:16pm and with us until it sets at 12:16pm tomorrow afternoon.


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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 07:04 19:36
  Mercury Leo -1.3 06:08 19:20
  Venus Virgo -3.9 07:46 20:01
  Mars Cancer 1.4 02:22 17:14
  Jupiter Aries -2.8 21:21 11:06
  Saturn Virgo 0.8 09:01 20:39
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 19:48 08:01
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 18:26 05:09
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 15:08 01:00
  Moon Aries -11.2 21:17 12:15
Click here for information on the planets such as orbital and rotational periods, velocities, distances, etc. not listed in the detail provided below.

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Quick links:
    Inner Solar System     Outer Solar System

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Sun data
 
Rises:

7:04am

Transits:

1:21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:36pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.00529068 AU = 150,389,345 km = 93,447,608 miles = 8.37 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.82 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:02pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

8:34pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:07pm - 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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm 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:

  9:17pm

Transits:

  4:43am - Sep 17 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

12:15pm - Sep 17

Constellation:

Aries

Phase:

81.57% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00271065 AU = 405,507 km = 251,970 miles = 1.35 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-11.2

Apparent size:

29.46 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

129.04 (morning sky)

Age:

18d 21h 35m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Full Moon on Monday Sep 12, 2011 at 5:27am

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 at 9:38am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm the Moon will be 8.3 below the northeast horizon
At 10:50pm, when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field, 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

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Mercury data
 
Rises:

  6:08am

Transits:

12:44pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:20pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

91.73% illuminated

Distance:

1.26392818 AU = 189,080,964 km = 117,489,465 miles = 10.53 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-1.3

Apparent size:

5.32 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

10.41 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

Friday, December 23, 2011 (21 50' 30")


On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Mercury will be 14.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Venus data
 
Rises:

7:46am

Transits:

1:54pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:01pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

98.88% illuminated

Distance:

1.69871695 AU = 254,124,438 km = 157,905,607 miles = 14.15 light-minutes

Magnitude:

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

Apparent size:

9.82 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

8.68 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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


On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Venus will be 7.3 below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Mars data
 
Rises:

2:22am

Transits:

9:48am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

5:14pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

92.47% illuminated

Distance:

1.90240609 AU = 284,595,900 km = 176,839,696 miles = 15.85 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.4

Apparent size:

4.92 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/360th the apparent diameter of the Moon!

Elongation from Sun:

55.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Mars will be 25.4 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')

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

  9:21pm

Transits:

  4:14am - Sep 17 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:06am - Sep 17

Constellation:

Aries

Phase:

99.46% illuminated

Distance:

4.2075114 AU = 629,434,747 km = 391,112,624 miles = 35.05 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.8

Apparent size:

46.86 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

133.94 (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 17, 2011 at 5:20am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 169.1
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        None tonight

On 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Jupiter will be 9.4 below the northeast horizon
At 10:50pm 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:

9:01am

Transits:

2:50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:39pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.96% illuminated

Distance:

10.57699515 AU = 1,582,295,953 km = 983,193,135 miles = 1.47 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

15.71 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

23.27 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Saturn will be 0 above the west-southwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Saturn

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

7:48pm

Transits:

1:54am - Sep 17 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:01am - Sep 17

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.08757153 AU = 2,855,460,057 km = 1,774,300,642 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

170.83 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Uranus will be 7.5 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

  6:26pm

Transits:

11:48pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:09am - Sep 17

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.09132019 AU = 4,351,999,556 km = 2,704,207,187 miles = 4.04 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

155.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Neptune will be 20.3 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:

3:08pm

Transits:

8:04pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:00am - Sep 17

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.88771116 AU = 4,770,333,691 km = 2,964,147,970 miles = 4.43 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

101.06 (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 9/16/2011 at 8:33:59pm Pluto will be 29.5 above the south horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

(back to 'Quick Links')


Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 9/16/2011
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury reached maximum western elongation (visible in the morning) on Saturday 9/3/2011 .  It now rises at 6:07am
Venus is setting 24 minutes after sunset but is still lost in the glare of the sun.  It reached superior conjunction on Aug 16, 2011
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 9/16/2011
(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 8:39pm
Uranus will reach opposition on Sep 25, 2011 and rises at 7:47pm
Neptune reached opposition on Aug 22, 2011 and rises at 6:26pm
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 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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