Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
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Previous event     Friday 9/21/2012 at 8:30 pm     Next event

Status last updated: 6:05pm on 9/21/2012:

This event was CANCELLED due to
heavy cloud cover and the threat of rain.

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

Tonight we've got a nearly first quarter Moon with us until it sets at 11:23pm.  This is a perfect time to see lunar features due to the steep angle of the sunlight illuminating the Moon.  Many 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 8:44pm and is almost impossible to see since it's so low on the horizon. Mars is also very difficult now since it's setting at 9:27pm.  Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece.  It rises at 10:50pm and will clear the trees by 12:25am.  Neptune rises at 6:09pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 7:30pm.  Uranus rises at 7:33pm and will be visible by 9:00pm.  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 23min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 35min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 67% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is easily visible tonight and sets at 9:27pm tonight, 2hrs 1min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 10:50pm but won't clear the trees until after 12:25am
    Saturn is almost gone from sight setting at 8:44pm, 1hr 18min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 7:33pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 6:09pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 2:57pm, 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 41% illuminated waxing crescent setting at 11:23pm, 3hrs 57min after 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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:10 19:27
  Mercury Virgo -0.8 07:55 19:50
  Venus Cancer -4.2 03:35 17:40
Mars   Libra 1.2 11:29 21:27
  Jupiter Taurus -2.5 22:51 13:47
Saturn   Virgo 0.7 09:36 20:44
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 19:34 07:58
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 18:10 04:57
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.3 14:57 00:43
Moon   Ophiuchus -9.8 13:33 23:23
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:

7:10am

Transits:

1:19pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:27pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

1.00371164 AU = 150,153,124 km = 93,300,827 miles = 8.36 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

31.87 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

7:51pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

8:23pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

8:56pm - 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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm 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:

  1:33pm

Transits:

  6:28pm - (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

11:23pm

Constellation:

Ophiuchus

Phase:

40.75% illuminated (waxing crescent)

Distance:

0.00245548 AU = 367,335 km = 228,251 miles = 1.23 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-9.8

Apparent size:

32.52 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

79.20 (evening sky)

Age:

5d 22h 19m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

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

Next Phase:

First Quarter on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 3:41pm

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm the Moon will be 21.7 above the south-southwest horizon
and will look like this at low power
* in our telescopes:

*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:

7:55am

Transits:

1:53pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:50pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

96.30% illuminated

Distance:

1.38980763 AU = 207,912,262 km = 129,190,692 miles = 11.58 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.8

Apparent size:

4.84 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

9.34 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Mercury will be 7.5 below the west horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  3:35am

Transits:

10:38am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:40pm

Constellation:

Cancer

Phase:

67.38% illuminated

Distance:

0.99236707 AU = 148,456,000 km = 92,246,283 miles = 8.27 light-minutes

Magnitude:

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

Apparent size:

16.81 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

42.36 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Venus will be 25.5 below the northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:29am

Transits:

  4:28pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:27pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

92.66% illuminated

Distance:

1.90331755 AU = 284,732,253 km = 176,924,422 miles = 15.85 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.2

Apparent size:

4.92 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/396th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

50.06 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Mars will be 9.3 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:

10:51pm

Transits:

  6:19am - Sep 22 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  1:47pm - Sep 22

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.05% illuminated

Distance:

4.70660089 AU = 704,097,471 km = 437,505,890 miles = 39.2 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.5

Apparent size:

41.89 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

103.29 (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 21, 2012 at 10:14pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 183.2
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Ganymede occultation ends on Friday Sep 21, 2012 at 11:49pm when Jupiter is 8.7 above the horizon
        Io eclipse begins on Saturday Sep 22, 2012 at 1:40am when Jupiter is 29 above the horizon

On 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Jupiter will be 20.8 below the north-northeast horizon
Jupiter & its four moons will look like this in our telescopes 25 minutes after midnight when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field:

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:

9:36am

Transits:

3:10pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

8:44pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.94% illuminated

Distance:

10.63054212 AU = 1,590,306,465 km = 988,170,637 miles = 1.48 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.7

Apparent size:

15.63 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

29.09 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Saturn will be 2.7 above the west-southwest horizon
Unfortunately, Saturn is gone for us until next spring

Click here for additional data on Saturn

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Uranus data
 
Rises:

7:34pm

Transits:

1:46am - Sep 22 -  Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:58am - Sep 22

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.06766272 AU = 2,852,481,742 km = 1,772,450,003 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.70 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

172.54 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Uranus will be 8.2 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

  6:10pm

Transits:

11:33pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  4:57am - Sep 22

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

29.10739839 AU = 4,354,404,821 km = 2,705,701,749 miles = 4.04 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

151.58 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Neptune will be 21.3 above the east-southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

2:57pm

Transits:

7:50pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

0:43am - Sep 22

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

32.15564061 AU = 4,810,415,365 km = 2,989,053,568 miles = 4.46 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.3

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

97.53 (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 9/21/2012 at 8:23:28pm Pluto will be 28.7 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 9/21/2012
(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


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


Outer Solar System - the Sun, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on 9/21/2012
(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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