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USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 January 25 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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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.

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