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USPS Star Calendar for 29 March-4 April 22 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015, March 2015.
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29 Mar    Jupiter is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this evening.

30 Mar    Tonight Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Regulus is to the moon’s lower left.

31 Mar    Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon this evening.

1 Apr    Early tonight, Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the east, and Jupiter is another 1½ fist-widths beyond Regulus.

2 Apr    In the east, Jupiter, Regulus, the moon and Spica line up from upper right to lower left late tonight.

4 Apr    This morning brings a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse begins as the moon enters Earth’s umbra at 1015 UT. Totality runs from 1157 to 1202 UT, with the last shadow leaving the moon at 1345 UT. Less than half the eclipse will be visible on the East Coast, 75 percent on the West Coast and 100 percent in Western Alaska and Hawaii.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 March 15 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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22 Mar    The moon is a little higher in the sky this evening. Venus is 1½ finger-widths to the right.

23 Mar    The moon lies between Venus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right, and Aldebaran, to the upper left.

24 Mar    High in the west tonight, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right, Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to its upper left, and Orion is 2½ fist-widths to the left.

26 Mar    High in the southwest at dusk, the moon lies between Orion and the Gemini Twins. Orion is below the moon, and the Gemini Twins are high above.

28 Mar    Procyon is 1 fist-width below the moon, Pollux is the same distance to the upper right, and Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 March 12 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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18 Mar    The thin, waning crescent moon rises a little more than an hour before the sun, followed by Mercury less than an hour later. If you are quick, you might get a glimpse of the planet before sunrise. As the sky begins to brighten, look through your binoculars for Mercury 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

19 Mar    The moon is at perigee, 56.12 Earth-radii (357,584 kilometers) away. With perigee and the new moon only a few hours apart, look for tidal extremes.

20 Mar    The only total solar eclipse of 2015 occurs today; a partial eclipse is visible across Europe, Northern Africa, Greenland, Iceland and much of Russia but not the U.S.

21 Mar    Low in the west at dusk, the moon is less than 2 fist-widths above the horizon. Mars is ½ finger-width to the right.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 March 11 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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8 Mar    The bright star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right is Spica, normally found by beginning with the Big Dipper, arcing to Arcturus and speeding on to Spica. Working backward from Spica, look 3 fist-widths to the upper left to Arcturus in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Measure another 3 fist-widths to Arcturus’ upper left to the last star in the dipper’s handle, Alkaid. The Big Dipper’s bowl is to the upper left. Can you find Polaris? How about Cassiopeia? Daylight saving time begins at 0200. Spring forward.

10 Mar    Tonight the moon rises just after midnight. It is low in the south before first light, with Saturn 1 fist-width to the left.

12 Mar    Just before dawn, Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right, and Antares is 4 finger-widths to its lower left.

14 Mar  The moon is above the dome of the Teapot in the constellation Sagittarius.

USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 January 18 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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26 Jan    High in the south early this evening, the moon is between Hamal, a little more than 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Mira, the same distance to the lower left.

28 Jan    Tonight high in the south, the Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths above or to the upper right of the moon, and Aldebaran is the same distance to the left or upper left.

30 Jan    Mercury is at inferior conjunction, passing between the sun and Earth.

31 Jan    Procyon is 2 fist-widths below the moon. Look with binoculars to see second-magnitude Alhena less than 1 finger-width to the moon’s right.

USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 January 11 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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18 Jan    Without the moon’s light, it should be easy to see a planet trio low in the west at sunset. Mercury is to the lower right of brilliant Venus, and Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left.

19 Jan    Tonight is another dark night good for stargazing. Look for Gemini and Orion low in the west at dusk. Later this evening they are high in the south, while Jupiter and Leo the Lion take their place. To the left, the Big Dipper stands on its handle.

21 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, Venus is 2½ finger-widths to the moon’s left, and Mercury is 2 finger-widths below.

22 Jan   Early this evening, Mars is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left, and Venus is 1 fist-width below.

23 Jan    Forming a straight line tonight, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Venus is a fist-width beyond Mars.

24 Jan    High in the southwest at dusk, the thin crescent moon is in a straight line between Deneb Kaitos, 2 fist-widths to the lower left, and Alpheratz, a little farther to the upper right. Mira is 3 fist-widths to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 January 4 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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11 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, Mercury passes within 0.6 degrees of Venus. Look quickly with binoculars, because the pair set 1½ hours after the sun.

13 Jan    Before dawn, the moon is 1 finger-width to Spica’s upper left.

14 Jan    At its greatest elongation east, Mercury sets more than 1½ hours after the sun. Look for Venus ½ finger-width to the left.

16 Jan    Using binoculars, look low in the east before dawn to see Saturn ½ finger width to the moon’s right.

17 Jan    The waning crescent moon rises 3 hours before the sun. Antares, the heart of the ScorpionScorpius, is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. Saturn is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right.

USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 January 28 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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4 Jan    Earth is at perihelion, 0.98328 AU away from the sun. Compare that to Earth’s distance of 1.01668 AU from the sun at aphelion on 6 July. An astronomical unit, or AU, is about 150,000,000 km or 93,000,000 miles.

5 Jan    As evening passes, it should be easy to spot the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left and Procyon the same distance to the lower right.

6 Jan    High in the east by midnight, Jupiter is about 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left. Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right.

7 Jan    By midnight, the moon, Jupiter and Regulus form a tight triangle in the east, with Jupiter 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and Regulus 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the left.

8 Jan    Jupiter is directly above the moon low in the east by midnight, and Regulus is to the moon’s upper left.

9 Jan    The moon forms a nearly straight line with Regulus, 1½ fist-widths above, and Jupiter, less than 1 fist-width beyond.

10 Jan    High in the southwest before dawn, the moon lies between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the right, and Spica, 3½ fist-widths to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 December-3 January 21 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014, January 2015.
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28 Dec    High in the south at dusk, Mars is to the far lower right of the first-quarter moon. Jupiter rises 10 minutes after Mars sets.

29 Dec    Early this evening, the waxing gibbous moon lies between two second-magnitude stars. Use binoculars to find magnitude 2.2 Mira 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos 3 fist-widths to the lower right. Later Mira will be directly above the moon and Deneb Kaitos will be directly below.

31 Dec    The last day of the year finds the moon high in the east at dusk with Orion and Gemini just above the eastern horizon. The moon won’t catch up with Jupiter until January.

1 Jan    High in the east at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above or to the upper left of the moon. Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

2 Jan    Gemini and Orion are high in the southeast by midnight.

3 Jan    Just after dark, Gemini is to the moon’s lower left and Orion to its lower right.

USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 December 14 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014.
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21 Dec    The winter solstice marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

23 Dec    Only two days past new, the thin waxing crescent moon is low in the west at dusk.

24 Dec    Mars stands to the left of the moon early this evening. They set less than 3½ hours after the sun. Altair is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right. The moon is at perigee, 57.19 Earth-radii (365,000 kilometers) away.

25 Dec    Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right this evening. The equation of time is zero.

26 Dec    The moon spends the last week of the year crossing the evening sky between Mars and Jupiter. Tonight Mars is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. Jupiter doesn’t even rise in the west until 20 minutes after Mars sets.

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