jump to navigation

USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 January 25 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

1 Jan    High in the south at sunset, magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the first-quarter moon’s lower left, and magnitude -4.0 Venus is near the western horizon, more than 6 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. Keep an eye on these planets as they grow closer during the coming weeks and months.

2 Jan    At dusk, look high in the south for Jupiter, 2 finger-widths below the waxing gibbous moon. The moon is at apogee, 63.43 Earth-radii, or 405,000 kilometers, away.

3 Jan    Late tonight, the moon is high in the southwest, midway between Jupiter, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right, and the Pleiades Cluster, to the upper left. Orion is high in the south.

4 Jan    About 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Early this evening, look for the Pleiades Cluster 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left and Jupiter far to the right or upper right, depending on your time of viewing.

5 Jan    The bright star 3 finger-widths below the moon tonight is magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran. Orion is a couple of fist-widths beyond Aldebaran. Earth is at perihelion, its closest approach to the sun for the year. It is only 0.98327 astronomical units, about 147,096,000 kilometers, away.

6 Jan    The moon rises about 2 hours before sunset. Low in the east at dusk, the first star to appear is magnitude 0.2 Capella, 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Next is magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right near the horizon. Aldebaran is next, appearing 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right.

7 Jan    Straddled by Orion to the right and Gemini to the lower left, the moon rises a little more than 1 hour before sunset. Later tonight look just above the horizon for magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 December 18 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
Tags: ,
add a comment

26 Dec    Brilliant magnitude -4.0 Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left tonight. They set 2.5 hours after the sun, so look quickly with your binoculars. Less than 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

27 Dec    The moon is 1 fist-width above Venus in the early evening. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

29 Dec    The moon is between Venus, 3 fist-widths to the lower right, and Jupiter, 5 fist-widths to the upper left.

30 Dec    High in the southwest at dusk, Venus is 4 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Jupiter is nearly the same distance to the upper left.

USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 December 11 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

18 Dec    High in the south at dawn, Mars is nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, while magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is less than 3 finger-widths to the left of noticeably dimmer Spica. First-quarter moon at 0048 UT (1948 EST yesterday)

19 Dec    In the south before dawn, Spica is 3 finger-widths left of the moon and Saturn is the same distance beyond Spica. With your binoculars, see if you can tell a difference in color between Spica and Saturn. Saturn should seem slightly yellow or orange compared to white Spica.

20 Dec    Saturn and Spica are 3-4 finger-widths above the moon this morning.

22 Dec    Get out your binoculars early this morning and try to spot the ever elusive Mercury as it reaches its greatest elongation west 21.8 degrees from the sun at 2200 EST tonight. Rising more than an hour before first light, Mercury is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left before dawn. Less than 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at perigee, 57.2 Earth-radii, or 365,000 kilometers, away. The winter solstice occurs at 0530 UT.

24 Dec    New moon at 1806 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 December 4 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

11 Dec    The moon rises a little more than an hour after sunset. By late evening, it’s high in the east with Orion to its right and Gemini to its left. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 2 fist-widths below the moon.

12 Dec    Orion, the Gemini Twins and the moon rise within a few minutes of each other this evening. Later tonight, the Gemini Twins are close to the moon’s upper left high in the east. Orion is to the moon’s upper right, and Procyon is 1 fist-width to the lower right.

13 Dec    The moon rises 3 hours after sunset. At midnight, Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s right high in the southeast.

15 Dec    After midnight, look for Regulus 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left and Mars a little more than 1 fist-width to Regulus’ lower left. High in the southwest before dawn, the moon is between Regulus to the upper right and Mars to the upper left.

16 Dec    Rising late this evening, Regulus, Mars and the moon are best viewed before dawn tomorrow. Regulus is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the south, and Mars is less than 1 fist-width above the moon.