The event scheduled for tonight, Friday 8/10/2012,
has been CANCELLED due to unstable weather conditions

We'll try again next Friday - 8/17/2012

Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
 on
Previous event     Friday 8/10/2012 at 9:00 pm     Next event

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

Tonight we'll have no Moon since it won't clear the trees to the east of the observing field until 1:50am or so Saturday morning.  The DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking.  Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons will be a great target until it sets 2hrs 47min after sunset at 11:20pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 11:02pm.  Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's a late-night object now rising at 1:20am.  Neptune rises at 8:57pm but doesn't clear the trees to the east of the observing field until after 10:30pm.  Uranus doesn't rise until 10:22pm and won't be visible until 11:50pm.  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.  Many galaxies will be available to us, although not at their best, regardless of the bright Moon.

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 rises 1hr 15min before sunrise but is difficult to see in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 28min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright thin waxing crescent
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 11:53pm tonight, 2hrs 29min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 1:20am, 5hrs 7min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 11:20pm, 2hrs 47min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 10:21pm and will be visible this evening if you stay extremely late
    Neptune rises at 8:57pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 5:43pm, 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 38% illuminated waning crescent rising 54 minutes after midnight


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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:27 20:34
  Mercury Cancer 1.0 05:13 19:30
  Venus Orion -4.5 02:59 17:40
Mars   Virgo 1.1 11:53 23:02
  Jupiter Taurus -2.2 01:20 16:13
Saturn   Virgo 0.8 12:01 23:20
  Uranus Cetus 5.8 22:22 10:50
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 20:57 07:48
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 17:43 03:30
  Moon Taurus -9.4 00:54 16:08
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:

6:27am

Transits:

1:31pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:34pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.01349376 AU = 151,616,509 km = 94,210,132 miles = 8.44 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.56 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  9:01pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

  9:37pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:17pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Summer began:

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

Fall begins:

at the Autumnal Equinox which will occur on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 10:49am

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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm the Sun will be 12 below the west-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 a live view of the Sun in hydrogen-alpha light

Click here for additional data on the Sun

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Moon data
 
Rises:

0:54am - Aug 11

Transits:

8:30am - Aug 11 - (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

4:08pm - Aug 11

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

38.05% illuminated (waning crescent)

Distance:

0.00271782 AU = 406,580 km = 252,637 miles = 1.36 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-9.4

Apparent size:

29.38 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

76.03 (morning sky)

Age:

22d 21h 7m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Last Quarter on Thursday Aug 9, 2012 at 2:55pm

Next Phase:

New Moon on Friday Aug 17, 2012 at 11:54am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm the Moon will be 25.7 below the north-northeast horizon
but will look like this at low power* in our telescopes at 2:30am when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field:

*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:

  5:13am

Transits:

12:21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:30pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

22.27% illuminated

Distance:

0.77006033 AU = 115,199,385 km = 71,581,580 miles = 6.41 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.0

Apparent size:

8.73 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

17.10 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

Friday, October 26, 2012 (24 04' 52")

Conjunctions of Mercury...
Prior:

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

Next:

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

Next:

Inferior Conjunction on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 10:12:33am


On 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Mercury will be 20.4 below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  2:59am

Transits:

10:19am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:40pm

Constellation:

Orion

Phase:

47.69% illuminated

Distance:

0.67384257 AU = 100,805,413 km = 62,637,580 miles = 5.61 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.5 (extremely bright, visible in the northeast before sunrise)

Apparent size:

24.76 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

45.74 (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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Venus will be 28.2 below the north-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:53am

Transits:

  5:28pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:02pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

90.30% illuminated

Distance:

1.68833344 AU = 252,571,088 km = 156,940,400 miles = 14.06 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

5.54 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/318th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

63.31 (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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Mars will be 14 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:

1:20am - Aug 11

Transits:

8:46am - Aug 11 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

4:13pm - Aug 11

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.13% illuminated

Distance:

5.33172118 AU = 797,614,136 km = 495,614,453 miles = 44.41 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.2

Apparent size:

36.98 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

66.91 (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 Aug 11, 2012 at 3:19am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 177.2
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        None visible tonight

On 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Jupiter will be 26.3 below the north horizon

Click here for additional data on Jupiter

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

12:01pm

Transits:

  5:41pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:20pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.78% illuminated

Distance:

10.12721439 AU = 1,515,009,709 km = 941,383,401 miles = 1.41 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

16.41 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

65.72 (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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Saturn will be 17.4 above the southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes:


Click here for additional data on Saturn

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

10:22pm

Transits:

  4:36am - Aug 11 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:50am - Aug 11

Constellation:

Cetus

Phase:

99.96% illuminated

Distance:

19.39142226 AU = 2,900,915,480 km = 1,802,545,333 miles = 2.69 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.8

Apparent size:

3.63 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

130.58 (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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Uranus will be 9.5 below the east-northeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

8:57pm

Transits:

2:22am - Aug 11 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:48am - Aug 11

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.00809482 AU = 4,339,549,217 km = 2,696,470,904 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

166.69 (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 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Neptune will be 6 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  5:43pm

Transits:

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

Sets:

  3:30am - Aug 11

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

31.51432424 AU = 4,714,475,802 km = 2,929,439,486 miles = 4.37 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

138.36 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Jun 29, 2012 at 11:03am

Next:

Monday Jul 1, 2013 at 8:06pm


On 8/10/2012 at 9:37:11pm Pluto will be 27.8 above the south-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 8/10/2012
(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 Greatest Eastern Elongation on July 1, 2012 and was visible a few evenings before & after that date.
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


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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 8/10/2012
(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 was at opposition on June 29, 2012


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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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