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USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 April 25 March 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012.
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1 Apr    High in the south early tonight, the moon is surrounded by the Gemini Twins to the upper right, Procyon to the lower right, and Regulus and Mars to the left. Low in the west, the Pleiades Cluster is less than 1 finger-width above brilliant magnitude -4.4 Venus.

2 Apr    In the early evening, magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left, and magnitude -0.7 Mars is 2 finger-widths beyond Regulus. Venus climbs through the Pleiades tonight and tomorrow night.

3 Apr    Mars and Regulus are less than 1 fist-width above the nearly full moon tonight. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Venus is only 0.4 degrees to the left of magnitude 3.0 Alcyone, the Pleiades’ brightest star. 

4 Apr    The Pleiades Cluster is to the lower right of Venus tonight.

5 Apr    Climbing away from the Pleiades, Venus is now 1 finger-width above the cluster.

6 Apr    The full moon, magnitude 0.3 Saturn and magnitude 1.2 Spica rise shortly after sunset. By midnight, they are low in the southeast with Spica 1 finger-width to the upper left and Saturn 3 finger-widths beyond Spica.

7 Apr    Low in the southwest before dawn, Spica, Saturn and the moon are close together with Spica to the moon’s right and Saturn to the upper right. The moon is at perigee, 56.18 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away.

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USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 March 18 March 2012

Posted by amedalen in March 2012.
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25 Mar    The thin waxing crescent moon is only 1 finger-width to Jupiter’s upper right tonight. Venus is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

26 Mar    The moon is less than 2 finger-widths to Venus’ upper left tonight, and the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths above the moon. Using binoculars, see if you spot magnitude 5.0 zeta Aries, about one-half degree below Venus. Then use your binoculars to see how many stars in the Pleiades Cluster you can pick out. If the skies are clear, you should have no trouble spotting the six third and fourth magnitude stars. The moon is at apogee, 63.62 Earth-radii, 406,000 kilometers, away.

27 Mar    Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left tonight. The Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths to the lower right. Venus and Jupiter are to the moon’s lower right.

28 Mar    Aldebaran is 1 fist-width below the moon this evening. Orion is to the lower left.

30 Mar    The moon is high in the southwest at dusk. The Gemini Twins are nearly overhead, 1 fist-width above the moon. Orion is between the moon and the horizon.

31 Mar    The moon is high in the south at dusk. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width below the moon. Regulus and Mars are far to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 March 11 March 2012

Posted by amedalen in March 2012.
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20 Mar    Jupiter and Venus are now more than 3 finger-widths apart. Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox. The sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern celestial hemisphere at 0513 UT.

24 Mar    Low in the west at sunset, the thin waxing crescent moon sets less than 1½ hours after the sun. Magnitude -2.1 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude -4.3 Venus is nearly 1 fist-width above Jupiter.

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 March 4 March 2012

Posted by amedalen in March 2012.
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11 Mar    Venus is less than 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower right tonight. Daylight saving time begins at 0200.

12 Mar    Tonight Venus and Jupiter stand side by side only about 3 degrees, 1½ finger-widths, apart. In the coming days, Venus climbs high, leaving Jupiter behind.

13 Mar    Low in the south before dawn, the moon is in the head of the Scorpion constellation, Scorpius. About two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

14 Mar    Venus is 1½ finger-widths to Jupiter’s upper right.

15 Mar    Low in the south before dawn, the moon is just above the dome of the teapot constellation, Sagittarius. Beware the Ides of March, a seer warned Julius Caesar; he was assassinated on this day in 44 BC.

17 Mar    Continuing to climb away from Jupiter, Venus is a little more than 2 finger-widths to the upper right.