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USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 September 31 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in September 2014.
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8 Sep     The moon is at perigee, 56.19 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away. Perigee occurs 22 hours before the full moon, so we can expect extreme tides.

10 Sep    Rising an hour after sunset, the moon is high in the southeast by midnight.

11 Sep    High in the west before dawn, the moon is three days past full, and about 95 percent of its surface is illuminated.

13 Sep    Rising more than 3 hours after sunset, the waning gibbous moon is low in the east at midnight, with the Pleiades Cluster 4 finger-widths to its upper left

USPS Star Calendar for 31 August-6 September 24 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014, September 2014.
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31 Aug    The moon joins Saturn and Mars tonight. Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right, and Mars is 1½ finger-widths to the lower left. The moon is about 25 percent illuminated.

1 Sep    The moon is in the head of the Scorpion this evening. Antares, the Scorpion’s heart, is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Mars and Saturn are 1 fist-width to the lower right.

2 Sep    The first-quarter moon is low in the south at sunset. Antares is 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Sagittarius, the Teapot constellation, is to the lower left.

3 Sep    The waxing gibbous moon is 1 fist-width above the Teapot’s dome tonight.

5 Sep    Magnitude –3.9 Venus passes within 0.73 degrees of magnitude 1.3 Regulus low in the east before first light. They should be visible with binoculars after Venus rises, an hour before the sun.

6 Sep    As soon as the sky darkens tonight, look 3 fist-widths above or to the upper right of the moon for magnitude 0.9 Altair, in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle that carried thunderbolts for Zeus. About 85 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

 

USPS Star Calendar for 24-30 August 17 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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24 Aug    The moon is at apogee, 63.74 Earth-radii (407,000 kilometers) away. Now to Saturn’s left, Mars continues to move left while the ringed planet appears stationary against the background stars during the next few weeks.

27 Aug    Setting less than one hour after the sun, the waxing crescent moon is low in the west as the sky darkens. Magnitude –0.4 Mercury is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right. About 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Aug    The moon lies between Mercury, 2 fist-widths to the lower right, and magnitude 1.2 Spica, 1 fist-width to the upper left. The moon sets less than 1½ hours after the sun.

29 Aug    Low in the east at sunset, Spica is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right.

30 Aug    The waxing crescent moon lies between Spica, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right, and the planets Mars and Saturn, about 1 fist-width to the upper left. Mars is much farther to Saturn’s left.

 

USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 August 10 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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17 Aug    This morning, Jupiter rises 5 minutes after Venus, less than a half a finger-width away. High in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon forms a line with 3 first-magnitude stars: magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse 2 fist-widths beyond Aldebaran, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon 2½ fist-widths farther, near the horizon.

18 Aug    Rising a minute later than Jupiter, Venus slides to Jupiter’s left this morning as they pass within 0.21 degrees. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above the moon.

19 Aug    Venus quickly falls away from Jupiter. Separated by a half a finger-width, Venus rises 6 minutes after Jupiter. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths below the moon this morning.

20 Aug    Before dawn Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Procyon is 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

21 Aug    The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left before dawn. Pollux is the brighter twin. The second-magnitude star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, also in Gemini. Low in the south early tonight, Mars and Saturn are 1½ fist-widths to the right of Scorpius’ head. Mars is 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower right and slides to the left during the next few nights.

22 Aug    The waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, a little farther to the upper left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

23 Aug    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, the moon, Venus and Jupiter are clustered within 4 finger-widths near the horizon at first light. Mars is directly below Saturn tonight. The third-magnitude star 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right is magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi, which represents the top of Libra’s scales.

USPS Star Calendar for 10-16 August 3 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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10 Aug    The moon is at perigee, 55.96 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. The closest perigee of the year occurs less than a half hour before the full moon. Check your tide tables for extreme tides.

11 Aug    The Perseid meteor shower peaks during the next few evenings. Unfortunately, the nearly full moon will outshine the meteors.

12 Aug    Rising an hour after sunset, the moon is low in the southeast by midnight.

13 Aug    High in the west before dawn, the bright star 6 fist-widths to the moon’s right is magnitude 1.3 Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

15 Aug    Low in the east before dawn, magnitude –3.9 Venus rises 15 minutes before magnitude –1.8 Jupiter, 1 finger-width away.

16 Aug    Venus and Jupiter rise 10 minutes apart this morning and are separated by less than a finger-width.

USPS Star Calendar for 3-9 August 27 July 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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3 Aug    Tonight the first-quarter moon slides 4 finger-widths to Mars’ upper left. Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left, and both set shortly after midnight.

4 Aug    At dusk the moon is 4 finger-widths to Saturn’s left. Mars and Saturn line up to the moon’s right. Antares is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left.

5 Aug    Antares is less than 4 finger-widths below the moon at dusk. Saturn is more than 2 fist-widths to the right.

7 Aug    The moon is high above the dome of the Teapot constellation Sagittarius.

8 Aug    At superior conjunction, Mercury passes on the other side of the sun, 1.347 AU away.

USPS Star Calendar for 27 July-2 August 20 July 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014, July 2014.
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28 Jul    The moon is at apogee, 63.74 Earth-radii (407,000 kilometers) away, the most distant apogee of the year.

29 Jul    A few hours before sunrise, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter rise in quick succession above the eastern horizon. Magnitude –3.9 Venus rises 2 hours before the sun, magnitude –1.3 Mercury comes up an hour later, and magnitude –1.8 Jupiter rises 40 minutes later as the sky brightens, making it harder to spot.

31 Jul    On this day in 1964, the U.S. reached the first Moon Race milestone when the Ranger 7 spacecraft transmitted more than 4,300 lunar photos before it crashed into the lunar surface, giving scientists detailed pictures and paving the way for future missions.

1 Aug    Low in the southwest at sunset, magnitude 1.2 Spica is 4 finger-widths to the left of the thin waxing crescent moon. Magnitude 0.4 Mars is 1 fist-width beyond Spica.

2 Aug    The moon is between Spica, 3 finger-widths to the lower right, and Mars, the same distance to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 20-26 July 13 July 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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21 Jul    High in the east before dawn, the Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s upper left, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower left.

22 Jul    The waning crescent moon passes within half a finger-width of Aldebaran this morning.

24 Jul    The thin waning crescent moon and Venus rise side-by-side less than 2 hours before sunrise. Mercury rises a half hour later. All three should be visible low in the east before the sky brightens.

25 Jul    Rising after Mercury this morning, a thin sliver of moon is 2 finger-widths to the planet’s lower right.

26 Jul    The equation of time reaches a shallow minimum of –6.54 minutes.

USPS Star Calendar for 13-19 July 6 July 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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13 Jul    You’ll need binoculars to watch as Mars passes to Spica’s left. The moon is at perigee, 56.17 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away. Perigee occurs 21 hours after the full moon, so we can expect tidal extremes.

15 Jul    High in the south before dawn, the bright star 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut.

16 Jul    The moon rises late tonight, making for dark skies and good stargazing. Soon after sunset look high in the northwest for the Big Dipper with its handle pointing up. As evening passes, it rotates counterclockwise and is just above the northern horizon before dawn.

17 Jul    Look to the Big Dipper’s right tonight and follow the two pointer stars at the end of the dipper 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Polaris, the North Star. Some mistakenly believe Polaris is the brightest star, but at magnitude 2.1, it’s only second magnitude. The brightest star is magnitude –1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, which is only above the horizon during the day right now.

18 Jul    An hour before dawn, look for several second-magnitude stars within 2 and 2½ fist-widths of the moon: magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz above the moon, magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos to the lower right, magnitude 2.0 Mira slightly closer and to the lower left, and magnitude 2.2 Hamal to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 6-12 July 29 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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6 Jul    The moon is between Saturn, 1 fist-width to the left, and Spica and Mars, the same distance to the right.

7 Jul    Tonight the moon passes within a half-degree of Saturn, with the best view as Saturn becomes visible. The moon slides to the left as the evening passes.

8 Jul    Low in the southeast at dusk, Saturn is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is the same distance to the lower left.

9 Jul    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right this evening. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

10 Jul    Tonight magnitude 0.2 Mars is 1 finger-width to magnitude 1.2 Spica’s upper right. During the next few days, Mars moves to Spica’s left.

11 Jul    Tonight Mars is three-fourths of a finger-width to Spica’s upper right.

12 Jul    You’ll need binoculars to see Mars half a finger-width to Spica’s upper right. Magnitude 0.4 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west, 20.9 degrees from the sun. Rising 1½ hours before the sun, Mercury is easy to spot before dawn 3 finger-widths to magnitude –3.9 Venus’ lower left.

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