Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
 on
Previous event     Friday 9/14/2012 at 8:45 pm     Next event

The cold front we expected to come through and provide
clearing skies arrived later and moved through slower than expected.
This event was CANCELLED due to wet observing field and ground fog.

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

Tonight we're totally Moon free. All of the available DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see will be ours for the asking, including the M-objects and NGC objects.  Saturn, with its beautiful rings and six of its moons is now setting at 9:10pm and is very difficult to see since it's so low on the horizon. Mars is visible, but very small and getting smaller every day setting at 9:41pm.  Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece.  It rises at 11:17pm and will clear the trees by 12:50am.  Neptune rises at 6:37pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 8:00pm.  Uranus rises at 8:02pm and will be visible by 9:20pm.  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.  Bring your binoculars and we'll show you how to find the Andromeda Galaxy with them!

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 sets 14min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 39min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 64% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 9:41pm tonight, 2hrs 3min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 11:17pm but won't clear the trees until after 12:50am
    Saturn is almost gone from sight setting at 9:10pm, 1hr 32min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 8:02pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 6:37pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 3:24pm, 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 tiny 1.8% illuminated waning crescent setting at 6:34pm, 1hr 4min 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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Leo -26.7 07:03 19:39
  Mercury Virgo -1.4 07:19 19:53
  Venus Cancer -4.2 03:24 17:43
Mars   Libra 1.2 11:32 21:41
  Jupiter Taurus -2.4 23:17 14:13
Saturn   Virgo 0.8 10:00 21:10
Uranus   Cetus 5.7 20:02 08:27
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 18:38 05:25
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.3 15:25 01:11
  Moon Sextans -4.9 05:26 18:34
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:

7:03am

Transits:

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

Sets:

7:39pm

Constellation:

Leo

Distance:

1.0056557 AU = 150,443,951 km = 93,481,538 miles = 8.38 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.81 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

8:03pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

8:36pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

9:09pm - 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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon
Below is the current image of the Sun in densely-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:

  5:26am

Transits:

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

Sets:

  6:34pm

Constellation:

Sextans

Phase:

1.80% illuminated (waning crescent)

Distance:

0.0025273 AU = 378,078 km = 234,927 miles = 1.26 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-4.9

Apparent size:

31.60 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

15.36 (morning sky)

Age:

28d 8h 38m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Last Quarter on Saturday Sep 8, 2012 at 9:15am

Next Phase:

New Moon on Saturday Sep 15, 2012 at 10:11pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm the Moon will be 22.8 below the west-northwest horizon

but would look like this at 5:46pm this afternoon at low power* in binoculars.
A problem though: it's less than 17 from the Sun and lost in the glare of the Sun
:

*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: This graphic is a correct-image representation.  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:

7:19am

Transits:

1:37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:53pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.15% illuminated

Distance:

1.39315599 AU = 208,413,169 km = 129,501,941 miles = 11.6 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-1.4

Apparent size:

4.83 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

4.15 (evening sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

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

Morning:

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

Conjunctions of Mercury...
Prior:

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

Next:

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

Following:

Superior Conjunction on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:38:10am


On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Mercury will be 9.2 below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  3:24am

Transits:

10:34am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:43pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

64.58% illuminated

Distance:

0.9415489 AU = 140,853,710 km = 87,522,439 miles = 7.84 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.2 (extremely bright, visible in the northeast before sunrise)

Apparent size:

17.72 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

43.38 (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

Following:

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


On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Venus will be 25.7 below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:32am

Transits:

  4:37pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:41pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

92.25% illuminated

Distance:

1.87168667 AU = 280,000,341 km = 173,984,148 miles = 15.59 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.2

Apparent size:

5.00 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/379th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

52.13 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Mars will be 9.8 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

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

11:17pm

Transits:

  6:45am - Sep 15 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  2:13pm - Sep 15

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.01% illuminated

Distance:

4.81143751 AU = 719,780,807 km = 447,251,064 miles = 40.08 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.4

Apparent size:

40.97 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

96.83 (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: Friday Sep 14, 2012 at 9:19pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 178.0
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Io eclipse begins on Friday Sep 14, 2012 at 11:46pm when Jupiter is 3.7 above the horizon
        Io occultation ends on Saturday Sep 15, 2012 at 3:18am when Jupiter is 42.5 above the horizon

On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Jupiter will be 22 below the north-northeast horizon
Jupiter & its four moons would look like this in our telescopes at 11:46pm as Io enters Jupiter's shadow.
Unfortunately it'll only be 3.7 above the north-northeast horizon and will be blocked by the trees:


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

Click here for additional data on Jupiter

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

10:00am

Transits:

  3:35pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:10pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.91% illuminated

Distance:

10.56895611 AU = 1,581,093,330 km = 982,445,860 miles = 1.47 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.8

Apparent size:

15.72 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

35.14 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Saturn will be 5.1 above the west-southwest horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes:

Note: This is a left/right reversed 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

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

8:02pm

Transits:

2:15am - Sep 15 -  Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:27am - Sep 15

Constellation:

Cetus

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.08866192 AU = 2,855,623,178 km = 1,774,402,001 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.69 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

165.46 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Uranus will be 5.3 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

6:38pm

Transits:

0:01am - Sep 15 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

5:25am - Sep 15

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

29.05575781 AU = 4,346,679,499 km = 2,700,901,456 miles = 4.03 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

158.57 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Friday Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24am

Next:

Monday Aug 26, 2013 at 9:35pm


On 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Neptune will be 19 above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

3:25pm

Transits:

8:18pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

1:11am - Sep 15

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

32.03473703 AU = 4,792,328,447 km = 2,977,814,878 miles = 4.45 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.3

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

104.34 (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 9/14/2012 at 8:35:59pm Pluto will be 29 above the south horizon

Click here for additional data on Pluto

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars on 9/14/2012
(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 reached Superior Conjunction on Thursday, September 10, 2012 and was on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth
Venus, on the "inside track" from the Earth, last reached Greatest Western Elongation on 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


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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 9/14/2012
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Jupiter will reach opposition on December 2, 2012
Saturn last reached opposition on April 15, 2012 and will reach Superior Conjunction (opposite the Sun) on October 25, 2012
Uranus will reach opposition on September 29, 2012
Neptune last reached 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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