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USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 February 29 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in February 2012.
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5 Feb    The moon lies between the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor to the upper left and Procyon to the lower right. The bright star 2½ fist-widths beyond Procyon is magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major.

6 Feb    The nearly full moon rises less than an hour before sunset. Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right and the Big Dipper is far to the left.

7 Feb    The moon rises soon after sunset, followed by magnitude 1.3 Regulus to the lower left. Before midnight, they are high in the southeast with Regulus less than 4 finger-widths to the lower left and magnitude -0.7 Mars 2 fist-widths to Regulus’ lower left.

8 Feb    The moon rises a little more than an hour after sunset and is high in the southeast by midnight with Regulus 4 finger-widths above and Mars 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

9 Feb    Mars rises less than 10 minutes before the moon tonight. Mars is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left low in the east before midnight. They travel across the sky, and are low in the west tomorrow morning before dawn, with Mars nearly 1 fist-width to the upper right.

10 Feb    Growing closer, Jupiter and Venus are only 3 fist-widths apart in the west after sunset. The waning gibbous moon rises nearly 4 hours after sunset.

11 Feb    The moon rises shortly before midnight followed closely by magnitude 1.2 Spica less than 2 finger-widths to the lower left. A half hour later, magnitude 0.5 Saturn appears above the horizon 3 finger-widths beyond Spica. The moon is at perigee, 57.69 Earth-radii, 368,000 kilometers, away. The equation of time is at minimum for the year, -14.25 minutes.

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USPS Star Calendar for 29 January-4 February 22 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in February 2012, January 2012.
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29 Jan    High in the southwest at nightfall, the moon is a little more than 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s right.

30 Jan    Jupiter is a little more than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right at dusk. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii, 404,000 kilometers, away.

31 Jan    At dusk, look for the Pleiades Cluster 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and Jupiter nearly 2 fist-widths to its lower right.

1 Feb    High in the south at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 4 finger-widths to the lower left. Orion lies farther to the lower left. The bright “star” 3 fist-widths to the lower right is magnitude -2.3 Jupiter.

2 Feb    Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the waxing gibbous moon’s lower right tonight. More than two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is Candlemas or Groundhog Day, one of the cross-quarter days halfway between solstices and equinoxes.

3 Feb    Look high in the south 3 hours after sunset to see the moon surrounded by Aldebaran nearly 2 fist-widths to the left, the Gemini Twins 2½ fist-widths to the right, Orion 1 fist-width below and magnitude 0.2 Capella nearly overhead.

4 Feb    Look to the east at dusk to see the Gemini Twins 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left and magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, the brightest star on Orion, the same distance to the right. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is nearly 2 fist-widths below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 January 15 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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22 Jan    Have you been watching Venus and Jupiter? They began the month 7½ fist-widths apart and are now only 5 fist-widths apart. Jupiter remains relatively stationary in relation to the background stars as Venus quickly climbs to meet the giant planet.

25 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude -4.1 Venus is 4 finger-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s upper left. Less than 5 percent of the moon is illuminated.

26 Jan    Venus is less than 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, low in the west in the early evening. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Jan    The moon is between Jupiter, less than 2 fist-widths to the upper left, and Venus, 2½ fist-widths below, close to the horizon. The two planets are less than 4½ fist-widths apart.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 January 8 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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15 Jan    Spica and Saturn are to the moon’s upper left in the southern sky before dawn. Growing closer, Venus and Jupiter are less than 6 fist-widths apart tonight.

16 Jan    The last-quarter moon is high in the south before dawn, with Spica 2 finger-widths to the upper right and Saturn 3 finger-widths to the upper left. The bright star 3½ fist-widths above the moon is magnitude 0.2 Arcturus.

17 Jan    The moon is at perigee, 57.99 Earth-radii, 370,000 kilometers, away.

18 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon is just to the right of the head of the Scorpion constellation, Scorpius, low in the south before first light.

19 Jan    Before dawn, the thin waning crescent moon will be low in the southeast with Antares less than 2 finger-widths to the lower right. Only about 20 percent of the moon is illuminated.

20 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon rises less than 2½ hours before the sun this morning. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 January 1 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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8 Jan    The moon is high in the southeast late tonight with the Gemini Twins to the left and Orion to the right. Far to the left in the northeast, the Big Dipper stands on its handle.

9 Jan    The moon rises less than an hour after sunset with Procyon 1 fist-width to the right. They are high in the east later tonight, with the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the upper left.

10 Jan    Late this evening, look for the moon between Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right. The Big Dipper is standing on its handle 5 fist-widths to the left.

11 Jan    The moon and Regulus rise side by side 3 hours after sunset. Mars follows 2 hours later. By midnight, the moon is high in the east with Regulus 3 finger-widths to the left and Mars 2½ fist-widths to the lower left.

12 Jan    In the southwest before dawn, Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Mars is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. The Big Dipper is high in the north with its handle pointing up.

13 Jan    Low in the southwest before dawn, Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right while Mars is 1 fist-width to the upper left. Close together, Spica and Saturn are 4 fist-widths to the upper left. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is noticeably dimmer than magnitude 0.6 Saturn.

14 Jan    Before dawn, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right. Today is 1 Jan. on the Julian calendar, the first day of the Roman year 2765 A.U.C., ab urbe condita or “from the city founded.”