A successful night of observing tonight at Fishcreek!

Venus was conspicuously absent from our skies having passed directly in front of the Sun on Tuesday 6/5/2012 in an extremely rare transit event and is now a morning object.  Nonetheless, Saturn was a favorite as was Mars now growing smaller and dimmer each week due to its increasing distance.  Since we were Moon-less, all the dim deep-sky objects we love to observe were seen in abundance.
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Special thanks to the following people who set up telescopes for this event...
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Dave Burger
Rick Burke
John Shulan
Gary Smith
Rosaelena Villaseņor
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We hope to see you at our next scheduled event on 6/15/2012

Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday 6/8/2012
at 9:30 pm

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

Tonight we'll be viewing without the Moon since it won't be rising until after midnight and won't clear the trees to the east of the observing field until 2:00am Saturday morning.  The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking.  Saturn, with its beautiful rings and five of its moons will be visible until it sets at 3:26am.  Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day.  Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a morning object now rising an hour before sunrise.  Uranus and Neptune rise extremely late and won't be available to us.  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.

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 an evening object now setting 73 minutes after sunset and lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Venus is now rising 11 minutes before sunrise and is a beautiful thin waxing crescent but lost in the Sun's glare
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up. 
    Mars is easily visible after sunset and sets at 1:57am tomorrow morning
    Jupiter is a morning object now rising an hour before sunrise and lost in the glare of the Sun.
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 3:26am tomorrow morning.
    Uranus rises at 2:29am tomorrow morning and won't be visible this evening.
    Neptune rises at 1:08am tomorrow morning and won't be visible this evening.
 
  Pluto rises at 9:56pm, 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 is a 73% illuminated waning gibbous rising 14 minutes after midnight 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
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The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm (nautical twilight)

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Taurus -26.7 05:49 21:01
  Mercury Gemini -0.9 06:40 22:14
  Venus Taurus -4.2 05:39 20:34
Mars   Leo 0.6 13:07 01:57
  Jupiter Taurus -2.0 04:48 19:22
Saturn   Virgo 0.6 16:01 03:26
  Uranus Cetus 5.9 02:29 14:57
  Neptune Aquarius 7.9 01:08 12:01
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 21:56 07:45
  Moon Capricornus -11.0 00:14 11:42
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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Sun data
 
Rises:

5:49am

Transits:

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

Sets:

9:01pm

Constellation:

Taurus

Distance:

1.015145 AU = 151,863,530 km = 94,363,624 miles = 8.46 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.51 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:31pm - Sun is   6° below the horizon

Nautical:

10:13pm - Sun is 12° below the horizon

Astronomical:

11:04pm - Sun is 18° below the horizon

Spring began:

at the Vernal Equinox which occurred on Tuesday Mar 20, 2012 at 1:15am

Summer begins:

at the Summer Solstice which will occur on Wednesday Jun 20, 2012 at 7:09pm

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 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm the Sun will be 12° below the northwest 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:

  0:14am - Jun 9

Transits:

  5:54am - Jun 9 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

11:42am - Jun 9

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

73.24% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00256443 AU = 383,634 km = 238,379 miles = 1.28 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-11.0

Apparent size:

31.14 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

117.57° (morning sky)

Age:

19d 2h 24m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Full Moon on Monday Jun 4, 2012 at 7:12am

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Monday Jun 11, 2012 at 6:41am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm the Moon will be 23.5° below the east-northeast horizon
but will look like this at low power
* when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field at 2:00am 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

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Mercury data
 
Rises:

  6:40am

Transits:

  2:27pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:14pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

82.83% illuminated

Distance:

1.20570141 AU = 180,370,363 km = 112,076,949 miles = 10.04 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.9

Apparent size:

5.58 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

14.65° (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

Sunday, July 1, 2012 (25° 44' 36")

Morning:

Thursday, August 16, 2012 (18° 41' 31")

Conjunctions of Mercury...
Prior:

Superior Conjunction on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 5:58:49amm

Next:

Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 5:06:27pm

Next:

Superior Conjunction on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:14:14am


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Mercury will be 1.1° below the west-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

5:39am

Transits:

1:07pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:34pm

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

0.35% illuminated

Distance:

0.2902217 AU = 43,416,549 km = 26,977,793 miles = 2.42 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.2 (extremely bright, but lost in the glare of the Sun)

Apparent size:

57.49 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

4.85° (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

Friday, November 1, 2013 (47° 04' 26")

Conjunctions of Venus...
Prior:

Inferior Conjunction on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012 at 9:32:09pm

Next:

Superior Conjunction on Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 8:37:10pm

Next:

Inferior Conjunction on Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 9:34:31pm


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Venus will be 15.5° below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Mars data
 
Rises:

1:07pm

Transits:

7:32pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:57am - Jun 9

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

88.72% illuminated

Distance:

1.25158741 AU = 187,234,812 km = 116,342,320 miles = 10.42 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.6

Apparent size:

7.48 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/256th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

89.48° (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Saturday Mar 3, 2012 at 3:52pm. Distance: 100,839,728 km. Size: 13.88 arcseconds.

Next:

Tuesday Apr 8, 2014 at 6:03pm. Distance: 92,875,374 km. Size: 15.07 arcseconds.

Click here:

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


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Mars will be 39.4° 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')

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

  4:48am

Transits:

12:05pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:22pm

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.89% illuminated

Distance:

5.95243942 AU = 890,472,262 km = 553,313,818 miles = 49.58 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.0

Apparent size:

33.12 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

19.27° (morning sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Oct 28, 2011 at 9:37pm

Next:

Sunday Dec 2, 2012 at 8:41pm


Next transit of the Great Red Spot: Saturday Jun 09, 2012 at 5:58am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 175.6°
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        None visible tonight

On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Jupiter will be 24.4° below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Jupiter

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

4:01pm

Transits:

9:43pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:26am - Jun 9

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.81% illuminated

Distance:

9.12924225 AU = 1,365,715,201 km = 848,616,093 miles = 1.27 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.6

Apparent size:

18.20 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

124.27° (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Sunday Apr 15, 2012 at 2:19pm

Next:

Sunday Apr 28, 2013 at 4:20am


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Saturn will be 41.8° above the south horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes:


Click here for additional data on Saturn

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

2:29am - Jun 9

Transits:

8:43am - Jun 9 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:57pm - Jun 9

Constellation:

Cetus

Phase:

99.94% illuminated

Distance:

20.38326744 AU = 3,049,293,406 km = 1,894,743,103 miles = 2.83 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.9

Apparent size:

3.46 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

70.59° (morning sky)

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

Previous:

Sunday Sep 25, 2011 at 8:07pm

Next:

Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 3:07am


On 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Uranus will be 41.9° below the north-northeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

  1:08am - Jun 9

Transits:

  6:34am - Jun 9 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

12:01pm - Jun 9

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

99.97% illuminated

Distance:

29.70977266 AU = 4,444,518,729 km = 2,761,695,936 miles = 4.12 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.9

Apparent size:

2.30 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

105.52° (morning 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 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Neptune will be 33.6° below the east-northeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

9:56pm

Transits:

2:51am - Jun 9 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:45am - Jun 9

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

31.2902206 AU = 4,680,950,375 km = 2,908,607,752 miles = 4.34 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

159.54° (morning 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 6/8/2012 at 10:13:21pm Pluto will be 1.8° above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 6/8/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Mercury & Mars orbits can be seen to be rather eccentric (non-circular) and Mercury's orbit tilted significantly to the plane of the ecliptic
Mercury was at superior conjunction on May 27, 2012 and will reach inferior conjunction on July 28, 2012 at 5:06:27pm
Venus, on the "inside track" from the Earth, reached inferior conjunction on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 and transited the Sun - an extremely rare event
that won't happen again until 12/11/2117, 105 years from now!
Mars was last at opposition on March 3, 2012 and keeps getting further away.  It will reach conjunction on 4/17/2013 at which time it will be over 226 million miles away


(back to 'Quick Links')                                                                                 <- Prior Week                  Following Week ->


Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 6/8/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter reached conjunction (directly on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth) on May 13, 2012
Saturn last reached opposition on April 15, 2012
Uranus will reach opposition on September 29, 2012
Neptune will reach opposition on August 24, 2012
Pluto's orbit can be seen to be extremely eccentric (non-circular) and severely tilted to the plane of the ecliptic.  It will be at opposition on June 29, 2012


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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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