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USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 October 30 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012.
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7 Oct    Only three days after the beginning of retrograde, Venus is already 2 finger-widths below Regulus in the east before dawn. The Big Dipper stands on its handle, 4 fist-widths to the left.

8 Oct    High in the south before dawn, magnitude 0.5 Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width below the last-quarter moon; the Gemini Twins are about the same distance to the upper left.

9 Oct    Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right this morning.

11 Oct    Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left at first light, and Venus is 4 finger-widths below Regulus. About 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

12 Oct    Now 1 fist-width below Regulus, Venus is 3 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s left before dawn.

13 Oct    At evening twilight, look for the Big Dipper, also known as Ursa Major or the Great Bear, near the northern horizon. Find the pointer stars, which form the side of the dipper’s bowl opposite the handle, and follow them to magnitude 2.1 Polaris, the North Star. In Cherokee legend, the dipper’s handle represents hunters pursuing the bear.

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USPS Star Calendar for 30 September-6 October 23 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012, September 2012.
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1 Oct    Rising less than an hour after sunset, the moon is high in the east mid-evening, with the constellation Aries, the Ram, to its left. Aries’ two brightest stars are magnitude 2.2 Hamal, 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 2.7 Sheratan, which is 2 finger-widths to Hamal’s right.

3 Oct    Look to the west before dawn as magnitude -4.1 Venus passes within 0.15 degrees of magnitude 1.3 Regulus, making it the year’s closest appulse of a planet with a first-magnitude star. Don’t miss this viewing opportunity.

4 Oct    The Pleiades Cluster is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right this morning. After its close approach to Regulus yesterday, Venus begins to retrograde (move westward) and falls away quickly during the coming weeks.

5 Oct    High in the southwest before dawn, magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is the same distance to the lower left. Orion is nearly 2 fist-widths to the lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.53 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

6 Oct    Before first light high in the south, Jupiter is less than 4 finger-widths to the waning gibbous moon’s lower right, and Aldebaran is the same distance below Jupiter. Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, Orion’s brightest star, is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 23-29 September 16 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in September 2012.
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24 Sep    Bright magnitude 0.9 Altair is 2½ fist-widths above the moon this evening.

25 Sep    In the southeast at dusk, Altair is 2½ fist-widths to the upper right of the waxing gibbous moon.

26 Sep    More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Sep    The nearly full moon rises less than an hour before sunset and sets less than a half hour before sunrise tomorrow.

29 Sep    You’ll need a dark sky away from city lights and a good pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of Uranus, which is at its brightest for the year at magnitude 5.7. From the full moon high in the east, look 2 finger-widths to the lower right. Uranus is the brightest light in the area.

USPS Stare Calendar for 16-22 September 9 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in September 2012.
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16 Sep    Tonight the moon rises and sets just before the sun does. New moon at 0211 UT

17 Sep    Jupiter is high in the south before dawn, and Orion is just below.

19 Sep    The moon, which sets about 2 hours after the sun, is visible low in the southwest at dusk. Magnitude 1.2 Mars is 1 finger-width to the right. The moon is at perigee, 57.35 Earth-radii (366,000 kilometers) away.

20 Sep    Tonight the moon is in the head of Scorpius, with Mars 1½ fist-widths to the lower right and magnitude 1.1 Antares 3 finger-widths to the lower left. Compare the color of Mars and Antares, the “rival of Mars.” The waxing crescent moon is 20 percent illuminated.

22 Sep    The moon is above the dome of Sagittarius. The autumnal equinox occurs at 1449 UT as the sun crosses the celestial equator into the southern hemisphere.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 September 2 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in September 2012.
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9 Sep    In the southeast before dawn, the moon lines up between Jupiter, a little more than 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Venus, 3½ fist-widths to the lower left. Orion is to the lower right, and magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2½ fist widths to the upper left.

10 Sep    Now closer to Venus, the moon is midway between Venus and Jupiter. Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the right, and the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are the same distance to the left or lower left. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 2 fist-widths directly below the moon.

11 Sep    The waning crescent moon closes in on Venus. This morning it is little more than 1 fist-width above the planet. Procyon is to the lower right, and the Gemini Twins are to the upper left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the far left.

12 Sep    The moon and Venus rise side by side nearly four hours before the sun. Venus is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s left. Less than 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

13 Sep    Only 10 percent illuminated, the waning crescent moon rises less than 3 hours before the sun.

14 Sep    Look to the right of the sun as it dips below the horizon to see the Big Dipper standing with its handle slightly elevated. Follow the dipper’s arc to the lower left to magnitude 0.2 Arcturus.