Another successful night of observing occurred at Fishcreek!
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Special thanks to the following people
who set up their telescopes for this event...
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Fred Fry
Dave Jessie
John Shulan
Gary Smith

Also of great help were...

Rosaelena Villaseņor
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We hope to see you at our next scheduled event on 8/24/2012

Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
 on
Previous event     Friday 8/17/2012 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 sets 19min before sunset at 8:05pm this evening.  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 30min after sunset at 10:54pm. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day now setting at 10:44pm.  Jupiter is nowhere to be seen since it's rising 56 minutes after midnight.  Neptune rises at 8:29pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 10:03pm.  Uranus rises at 9:54pm and will be visible by 11:20pm.  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!

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 32min before sunrise but is difficult to see in the glare of the Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 36min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 1/2 phase
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 10:44pm tonight, 2hrs 20min after sunset
    Jupiter rises 56 minutes after midnight, 5hrs 38min before sunrise
    Saturn is magnificent to see in our telescopes and sets at 10:54pm, 2hrs 30min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 9:54pm and will be visible this evening if you stay late
    Neptune rises at 9:29pm and is visible this evening if you stay late
 
  Pluto rises at 5:15pm, 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 0.4% illuminated waxing crescent setting 19min before sunset


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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 06:35 20:24
  Mercury Cancer -0.3 05:02 19:28
  Venus Gemini -4.4 02:59 17:41
Mars   Virgo 1.1 11:48 22:45
  Jupiter Taurus -2.2 00:56 15:50
Saturn   Virgo 0.8 11:36 22:54
  Uranus Cetus 5.8 21:54 10:22
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 20:29 07:19
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 17:15 03:02
  Moon Sextans -4.3 06:37 20:05
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:

6:35am

Transits:

1:30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:24pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.01225194 AU = 151,430,735 km = 94,094,698 miles = 8.43 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.60 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

  8:50pm - Sun is   6° below the horizon

Nautical:

  9:26pm - Sun is 12° below the horizon

Astronomical:

10:04pm - 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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm 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

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Moon data
 
Rises:

6:37am

Transits:

1:26pm - (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

8:05pm

Constellation:

Sextans

Phase:

0.42% illuminated (waxing crescent)

Distance:

0.00255311 AU = 381,940 km = 237,327 miles = 1.28 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-4.3

Apparent size:

31.28 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

7.44° (evening sky)

Age:

0d 9h 36m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

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

Next Phase:

First Quarter on Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 9:54am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm the Moon will be 15.6° below the west-northwest horizon
*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:

  5:02am

Transits:

12:15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  7:28pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

47.53% illuminated

Distance:

0.94360004 AU = 141,160,557 km = 87,713,105 miles = 7.86 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.3

Apparent size:

7.13 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

18.57° (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (20° 33' 03")

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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Mercury will be 19° below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  2:59am

Transits:

10:20am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:41pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

51.55% illuminated

Distance:

0.72851999 AU = 108,985,039 km = 67,720,164 miles = 6.07 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.4 (extremely bright, visible in the northeast before sunrise)

Apparent size:

22.90 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

45.78° (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

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

Evening:

Saturday, March 22, 2014 (46° 33' 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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Venus will be 27.5° below the north-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:48am

Transits:

  5:16pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:45pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

90.67% illuminated

Distance:

1.72852758 AU = 258,584,045 km = 160,676,678 miles = 14.4 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

5.41 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/347th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

60.94° (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Mars will be 12.8° 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:

0:56am - Aug 18

Transits:

8:23am - Aug 18 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:50pm - Aug 18

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.07% illuminated

Distance:

5.23209346 AU = 782,710,041 km = 486,353,477 miles = 43.58 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.2

Apparent size:

37.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

72.61° (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 18, 2012 at 4:07am (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 177.3°
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        None visible tonight

On 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Jupiter will be 25.7° below the north horizon

Click here for additional data on Jupiter

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

11:36am

Transits:

  5:15pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:54pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.80% illuminated

Distance:

10.23032897 AU = 1,530,435,431 km = 950,968,500 miles = 1.42 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

16.25 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

59.53° (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Saturn will be 14.8° above the southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes:

Note: This is a left/right inverted image that will match the view in a refractor (or Schmidt-Cassegrain) when using a 90° diagonal mirror

Click here for additional data on Saturn

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

  9:54pm

Transits:

  4:08am - Aug 18 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

10:22am - Aug 18

Constellation:

Cetus

Phase:

99.97% illuminated

Distance:

19.30753384 AU = 2,888,365,950 km = 1,794,747,416 miles = 2.68 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.8

Apparent size:

3.65 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

137.47° (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Uranus will be 6.5° below the east-northeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

(back to 'Quick Links')

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

8:29pm

Transits:

1:54am - Aug 18 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:19am - Aug 18

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

28.98892269 AU = 4,336,681,108 km = 2,694,688,744 miles = 4.02 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.36 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

173.58° (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Neptune will be 8.9° 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:

  5:15pm

Transits:

10:09pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  3:02am - Aug 18

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

31.60229632 AU = 4,727,636,238 km = 2,937,617,002 miles = 4.39 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

131.56° (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 8/17/2012 at 9:25:49pm Pluto will be 28.5° 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 8/17/2012
(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 Western Elongation on Thursday, August 16, 2012 and was visible a few mornings 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!  It reached Greatest Western Elongation on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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 8/17/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter will reach opposition on December 2, 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 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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