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USPS Star Calendar for 2 to 8 May 25 April 2010

Posted by amedalen in May 2010.
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2 May
Low in the south before dawn, the moon is to the upper right of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius.

3 May
This morning, the moon is just above the handle of the Teapot, and the bright star 3 fist-widths to its upper left is magnitude 0.9 Altair.

5 May
Altair is 3 fist-widths directly above the moon at dawn. On this day in 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space during a 15-minute suborbital flight.

6 May
The moon is at apogee, 63.38 earth-radii away. Last-quarter moon at 0415 UT.

7 May
Jupiter is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left low in the southwest just before dawn.

8 May
The moon is now only 1 fist-width from Jupiter.

USPS Star Calendar for 25 April to 1 May 18 April 2010

Posted by amedalen in April 2010, May 2010.
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25 Apr
Tonight, Saturn is 1 fist-width above the moon, and Spica is nearly 2 fist-widths to the lower left.

26 Apr
Spica is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left, and Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the upper right.

27 Apr
Spica is 1 fist-width above or to the upper right of the moon this evening. Arcturus is 3½ fist-widths to the upper left.

28 Apr
The moon is full at 1218 UT. In inferior conjunction with the sun, Mercury passes from the evening sky to the morning sky.

29 Apr
The moon rises 2 hours after sunset, followed shortly by Antares. They travel together across the southern horizon and are low in the southwest tomorrow morning.

30 Apr
Today is May Eve, one of the four cross-quarter days, midway between solstices and equinoxes.

1 May
Today is May Day or Beltane, the fire festival celebrated with bonfires and maypoles.

USPS Star Calendar for 18 to 24 April 11 April 2010

Posted by amedalen in April 2010.
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18 Apr
Tonight, Capella is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left, and Aldebaran is 1½ fist-widths below the moon. The Gemini Twins are nearly 3 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left, and Mars is another 1½ fist-widths beyond the Twins.

19 Apr
The moon lies in a straight line between Capella, nearly 3 fist-widths to the right or lower right, and Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the left or upper left. The Gemini Twins are 1½ fist-widths above the moon.

20 Apr
The moon lies between Procyon, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and the Gemini Twins, one-half fist-width to the upper right. Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

21 Apr
High in the southwest tonight, Mars is only 2 finger-widths above the moon, with the Gemini Twins to its right and Regulus to its left. First-quarter moon at 1820 UT.

22 Apr
Mars is now 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right. The Lyrid meteor shower will be at its best before dawn.

23 Apr
Tonight, Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, Mars is 2 fist-widths beyond, and Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the left.

24 Apr
Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left this evening. The moon is at perigee, 57.56 earth-radii away.

USPS Star Calendar for 11 to 17 April 4 April 2010

Posted by amedalen in April 2010.
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11 Apr
The moon rises 1½ hours before the sun and is followed by Jupiter a half-hour later. Both will be visible as the sky begins to brighten. Use binoculars. Apollo 13 launched this day in 1970.

12 Apr
On this day in 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Twenty years later to the day in 1981, Columbia (STS-1), the first U.S. space shuttle, was launched.

14 Apr
New moon at 1229 UT.

15 Apr
The thin waxing crescent moon joins Venus and Mercury low in the south tonight. Magnitude 1.5 Mercury is less than 1 finger-width below the moon, while Venus is 3 finger-widths to the upper left.

16 Apr
The moon is between Venus and the Pleiades tonight. Measure 4 finger-widths down to Venus and 1 finger-width up to the Pleiades. Meanwhile, to the lower right, Mercury sinks closer to the horizon.

17 Apr
Tonight, look for Aldebaran 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Orion is even farther left, and the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the lower right.