Astronomical Observing at the Fishcreek Observing Site
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Previous event     Friday 10/5/2012 at 8:00 pm     Next event

Status last updated: 5:30 PM on 10/5/2012

Tonight's event has been cancelled due to persistent cloud cover and threat of storms later this evening.

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

Tonight we're Moonless until it rises at 10:15pm.  However, it won't clear the trees until nearly midnight so we'll have our pick of the available DSO's (Deep Space Objects) we love to see, including the M-objects and NGC objects.  The relative motions of Earth and Saturn around the Sun have caused it to set at 7:53pm so it's no longer available to us.  Mars is also very difficult now since it's setting at 9:01pm.  Jupiter is taking over where Saturn left off as the night's show-piece.  It rises at 9:56pm and will clear the trees by 11:30pm.  Neptune rises at 5:13pm and will clear the trees to the east of the observing field by 6:30pm.  Uranus rises at 6:37pm and will be visible by 7:40pm.  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 36min after sunset and is totally lost in the glare of the setting Sun
    Venus rises 3hrs 24min before sunrise and is an incredibly bright 73% illuminated waxing gibbous
    Earth is what you'll be standing on as you look up 
    Mars is low on the horizon but still visible tonight and sets at 9:01pm, 1hr 58min after sunset
    Jupiter rises at 9:53pm but won't clear the trees until approximately 11:30pm
    Saturn is gone from sight setting at 7:53pm, 50min after sunset
    Uranus rises at 6:37pm and will be visible this evening
    Neptune rises at 5:13pm and is visible this evening
 
  Pluto rises at 2:02pm, 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 71% illuminated waning gibbous rising at 10:15pm, 3hrs 12min 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 eighteenth 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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm (nautical twilight))

Source: Guide9 software available from www.projectpluto.com

  Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:24 19:03
  Mercury Virgo -0.3 08:56 19:40
  Venus Leo -4.1 04:01 17:31
Mars   Libra 1.2 11:24 21:02
  Jupiter Taurus -2.6 21:57 12:53
  Saturn Virgo 0.7 08:49 19:53
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 18:38 07:00
Neptune   Aquarius 7.8 17:14 04:00
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.3 14:03 23:48
  Moon Taurus -10.9 22:16 13:28
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:

7:24am

Transits:

1:14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:03pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

0.99970915 AU = 149,554,360 km = 92,928,772 miles = 8.33 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

32.00 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

7:28pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

8:00pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

8:32pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Fall began:

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

Winter begins:

at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Friday Dec 21, 2012 at 6:12am

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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm 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:

10:16pm

Transits:

  5:52am - Oct 6 - (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

  1:28pm - Oct 6

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

71.25% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00271889 AU = 406,740 km = 252,737 miles = 1.36 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-10.9

Apparent size:

29.37 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

115.00 (morning sky)

Age:

19d 21h 50m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Full Moon on Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 11:19pm

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 3:33am

Next Lunar eclipse:

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


On 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm the Moon will be 20 below the north-northeast horizon
but will look like this at low power
* in our telescopes at 11:55pm 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: 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:

8:56am

Transits:

2:19pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:40pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

87.88% illuminated

Distance:

1.30542625 AU = 195,288,988 km = 121,346,953 miles = 10.87 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.3

Apparent size:

5.15 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

17.71 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Mercury will be 4.7 below the west-southwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Mercury

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  4:01am

Transits:

10:46am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:31pm

Constellation:

Leo

Phase:

72.53% illuminated

Distance:

1.09028602 AU = 163,104,467 km = 101,348,418 miles = 9.08 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-4.1 (extremely bright, visible in the northeast before sunrise)

Apparent size:

15.30 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

39.99 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Venus will be 25.3 below the west-northwest horizon

Click here for additional data on Venus

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Mars data
 
Rises:

11:24am

Transits:

  4:13pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  9:02pm

Constellation:

Libra

Phase:

93.48% illuminated

Distance:

1.96187626 AU = 293,492,511 km = 182,367,794 miles = 16.34 light-minutes

Magnitude:

1.2

Apparent size:

4.77 arcseconds in angular diameter - less than 1/369th the apparent diameter of the Moon

Elongation from Sun:

46.06 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Mars will be 8.7 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:

  9:57pm

Transits:

  5:25am - Oct 6 - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

12:53pm - Oct 6

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

99.21% illuminated

Distance:

4.50716049 AU = 674,261,612 km = 418,966,747 miles = 37.54 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.6

Apparent size:

43.74 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

116.77 (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 Oct 05, 2012 at 11:47pm (The Red Spot transits about every 9 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 183.5
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        Ganymede eclipse begins on Saturday Oct 06, 2012 at 0:31am when Jupiter is 26.2 above the horizon
        Ganymede eclipse ends on Saturday Oct 06, 2012 at 2:30am when Jupiter is 48.5 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 at 11:30pm 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:

8:49am

Transits:

2:21pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:53pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

10.72087019 AU = 1,603,819,353 km = 996,567,156 miles = 1.49 light-hours

Magnitude:

0.7

Apparent size:

15.50 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

17.02 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Saturn will be 2.3 below 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:

6:38pm

Transits:

0:49am - Oct 6 -  Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

7:00am - Oct 6

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

100.00% illuminated

Distance:

19.06973215 AU = 2,852,791,324 km = 1,772,642,368 miles = 2.65 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.70 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

173.09 (evening sky)

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

Previous:

Saturday Sep 29, 2012 at 3:07am

Next:

Thursday Oct 3, 2013 at 10:04am


On 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Uranus will be 14.3 above the east horizon

Click here for additional data on Uranus

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

  5:14pm

Transits:

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

Sets:

  4:00am - Oct 6

Constellation:

Aquarius

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

29.24815154 AU = 4,375,461,192 km = 2,718,785,571 miles = 4.06 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.8

Apparent size:

2.33 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

137.56 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Neptune will be 25.7 above the southeast horizon

Click here for additional data on Neptune

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  2:03pm

Transits:

  6:56pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:48pm

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

32.4012503 AU = 4,847,158,053 km = 3,011,884,416 miles = 4.5 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.3

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

83.90 (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 10/5/2012 at 7:59:33pm Pluto will be 27.3 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 10/5/2012
(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 10/5/2012
(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 reached 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 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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