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USPS Star Calendar for 6 to 12 March 27 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in March 2011.
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6 Mar     At evening twilight, the thin crescent moon is 2 finger-widths to the right of magnitude -2.1 Jupiter low in the west. Less than five percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at apogee, nearly 252,898 miles or 63.75 Earth-radii away.

7 Mar     The waxing crescent moon is 1 fist-width above Jupiter tonight.

8 Mar     This evening, look 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right to find the navigational star magnitude 2.2 Hamal in the constellation Aries, the Ram. One finger-width below Hamal, you should be able to see magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Using your binoculars, see if you can spot magnitude 4.8 gamma 1 Arietis. Today is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Lent begins.

10 Mar    The Pleiades Cluster is only 1 finger-width above the moon tonight. Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, is 1 fist-width to the upper left. Orion lies beyond Taurus. Use your binoculars. About one-fourth of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is Ash Wednesday.

11 Mar    Aldebaran is only 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the lower right. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

12 Mar    The bright star 2 fist-widths to the right or upper right of the moon is magnitude 0.2 Capella. The navigational star magnitude 1.8 Elnath is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right in line with Capella. Using your binoculars, see if you can find magnitude 3.0 zeta Tauri, 1 finger-width left of the moon. First-quarter moon at 2345 UT

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USPS Star Calendar for 27 February to 5 March 20 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in February 2011, March 2011.
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28 Feb    Low in the southeast before dawn, brilliant Venus is 2 to 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Less than one-fourth of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

1 Mar     A thin sliver of moon can be seen to the lower left of Venus just before dawn.

2 Mar     You will need a clear view of the eastern horizon to see the waning crescent moon at first light. Venus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

4 Mar     New moon at 2046 UT

5 Mar     If you have a clear view of the western horizon, test your binocular skills tonight. As the sun dips from view, try to spot Mercury and the thin waxing crescent moon 3 finger-widths to its upper right. You won’t have much time, because Mercury sets only 20 minutes after the sun.

USPS Star Calendar for 20 to 26 February 13 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in February 2011.
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20 Feb    Saturn and the moon rise side by side 3½ hours after sunset. Low in the southwest at dawn tomorrow, Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right and Spica is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left.

21 Feb    Saturn, Spica and the waning gibbous moon rise one after the other in a straight line late this evening. Arcturus, the brightest star of Boötes, the Herdsman, is 3 fist-widths to the left of Saturn.

22 Feb    Saturn, Spica and the moon are lined up low in the southwest before dawn. Scorpius is far to the lower left. The Big Dipper is to the right with its handle pointing up. Follow the arc of the dipper’s handle to Arcturus and then to Spica. “Arc to Arcturus; speed on to Spica.”

23 Feb    Jupiter and Saturn are in heliocentric opposition, on opposite sides of the sun.

24 Feb    Low in the south at first light, the moon is in the head of the Scorpion, Scorpius. Last-quarter moon at 2326 UT

25 Feb    The red star Antares is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right this morning.

26 Feb    Sagittarius, the Teapot constellation, is to the lower left of the moon this morning. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 13 to 19 February 6 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in February 2011.
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13 Feb    The moon is surrounded by major constellations tonight. Gemini is to the left, Taurus is to the right, and Orion is below. More than two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

14 Feb    Tonight the moon is in the middle of the constellation Gemini, the Twins. More than three-fourths of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

15 Feb    The waxing gibbous moon lies between the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, 1 fist-width to the upper left, and Procyon to the lower right. Regulus is far to the lower left, and the Big Dipper stands on its handle farther left.

16 Feb    The moon is midway between Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus to the lower left. More than 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

17 Feb    Regulus and the nearly full moon rise at sunset. Regulus is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

18 Feb    Regulus is 1½ fist-widths above the moon tonight. Rising 2 to 3 hours before midnight, Saturn is far to the moon’s lower left. Full Snow Moon at 0836 UT

19 Feb    Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left late tonight. The moon is at perigee, about 222,451 miles or 56.17 Earth-radii away.