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USPS Star Calendar for 2 to 8 January 26 December 2010

Posted by amedalen in January 2011.
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2 Jan     Mercury is 2 finger-widths to the thin crescent moon’s upper left low in the southeast just before dawn.

3 Jan     At perihelion, Earth is nearest to the sun for the year. Tonight and tomorrow night when the Quadrantids meteor shower peaks, up to 40 meteors per hour will radiate from the constellation Boötes, which rises low in the east around midnight.

4 Jan     A partial solar eclipse will be visible in most parts of northern Africa, Europe and Asia. New moon at 0903 UT

7 Jan     The waxing crescent moon sets 3½ hours after the sun this evening. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The bright “star” 3 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left is magnitude -2.3 Jupiter.

8 Jan     Venus is at its greatest elongation west, 47 degrees from the sun. It rises more than 3½ hours before the sun.

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USPS Star Calendar for 26 December to 1 January 19 December 2010

Posted by amedalen in December 2010, January 2011.
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28   High in the south at dawn, magnitude 0.8 Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and magnitude 1.2 Spica is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left. Magnitude -4.5 Venus is 2½ fist-widths beyond Spica. Last-quarter moon at 0418 UT (2318 EST yesterday)

29   Spica is directly above the moon before dawn, and Saturn is to the upper right.

30   Venus is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or lower left this morning.

31   Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this morning. Just above the horizon to the lower left, try to spot magnitude 0.4 Mercury as it peeks above the horizon about 1.5 hours before sunrise. Use binoculars.

1   The moon rises more than 2 hours before the sun. Antares is one finger-width below the thin waning crescent moon. Brilliant magnitude -4.5 Venus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Mercury is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Only 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 19 to 25 December 12 December 2010

Posted by amedalen in December 2010.
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21   The winter solstice occurs at 2338 UT as the sun reaches its farthest point south. Today marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. This morning, a total lunar eclipse is visible across North America and most of the eastern Pacific, including Hawaii. The eclipse begins at 0632 UT when the umbra first touches the moon. Totality begins at 0740 UT and lasts until 0854 UT. The last bit of shadow leaves the moon at 1002 UT. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are completely safe to watch. Full Cold moon at 0813 UT

Total Lunar Eclipse

PST 

(-8)

MST 

(-7)

CST 

(-6)

EST 

(-5)

First Umbra 22:32 (20th) 23:32 (20th) 00:32 01:32
Beginning of Totality 23:40 (20th) 00:40 01:40 02:40
Mid-Eclipse 00:17 01:17 02:17 03:17
End of Totality 00:54 01:54 02:54 03:54
Last Umbra 02:02 03:02 04:02 05:02

22   Late tonight, you’ll find the moon between the Gemini Twins to the upper left and magnitude 0.5 Procyon to the lower right. Orion is far to the upper right, and the Big Dipper is far to the left.

23   Late this evening, the moon is midway between magnitude 0.5 Procyon, nearly 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus, the same distance to the lower left. The Gemini Twins are 2 fist-widths above the moon.

24   The moon and Regulus rise together tonight and are high in the southwest by dawn.

25   The moon is at perigee, 57.83 Earth-radii away.

USPS Star Calendar for 12 to 18 December 5 December 2010

Posted by amedalen in December 2010.
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12   Magnitude -2.5 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left tonight.

13   Jupiter is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this evening. The Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak tonight and tomorrow morning. The best viewing will be around midnight after moonset. The moon is at apogee, 63.48 Earth-radii away. First-quarter moon at 1359 UT

14   The moon is 1½ fist-widths to magnitude -2.5 Jupiter’s upper left, high in the south tonight.

18   The moon is less than 1 finger-width below the Pleiades Cluster this evening. Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Orion is on the other side of Aldebaran. Use binoculars.