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USPS Star Calendar for 2-8 June 26 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013.
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3 Jun    The waning crescent moon rises 3 hours before the sun. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

4 Jun    The moon spends the next few evenings out of view, leaving us with dark skies for stargazing. In the east, Gemini is closer to the horizon. Regulus and the constellation Leo have taken over the western sky. Leo’s second brightest star, magnitude 2.2 Denebola, is 2½ fist-widths to Regulus’ upper left.

5 Jun    In the south, midway up from the horizon, two bright bodies grab our attention. The brighter is Saturn. At magnitude 0.4, it outshines magnitude 1.2 Spica, 1 fist-width to the right. Magnitude 0.2 Arcturus is high above, and magnitude 1.1 Antares is far to the lower left.

6 Jun    The Summer Triangle begins to climb in the eastern sky. Magnitude 0.1 Vega is halfway up from the horizon, a little left of east, magnitude 1.3 Deneb is 2½ fist-widths to the lower left, and 4 fist-widths to the lower right, magnitude 0.9 Altair completes the triangle. Altair rises nearly an hour after sunset, so the best view will be around midnight when the triangle is high in the east.

7 Jun    In early evening, the Big Dipper is high in the north with its handle pointing up. Find Polaris by following a line to the lower right from the pointer stars at the far end of the dipper. Polaris is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Now find the brightest star of the Little Dipper, magnitude 2.2 Kochab, 1½ fist widths above or to the upper right of Polaris, depending on when you are looking.

8 Jun    New moon at 1556 UT 

USPS Star Calendar for 26 May-1 June 19 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013, May 2013.
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26 May    Tonight Jupiter slips lower and Mercury climbs higher; within 3 degrees of each other, they form a tight triangle with Venus. By tomorrow morning, they fit within a 2.43-degree diameter circle. The moon is at perigee, 56.19 Earth-radii, or 358,000 kilometers, away. Perigee occurs 21 hours after the full moon, so expect extreme tides.

27 May    Jupiter and Venus stand side by side ½ finger-width apart tonight. Mercury has climbed to the upper right. Before dawn, the moon stands above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the southwest.

28 May    Jupiter slips to Venus’ lower left, and Mercury continues to climb.

29 May    Before dawn, look 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right to find magnitude 0.9 Altair.

30 May    Mercury climbs higher, and Jupiter sinks lower, forming a nearly straight line with Venus 3 finger-widths long.

31 May    Last-quarter moon at 1858 UT

1 Jun    The waning crescent moon rises 4 hours before the sun and is high in the southeast at first light.

USPS Star Calendar for 19-25 May 12 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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20 May    Tonight, the moon is high in the south between magnitude 1.3 Regulus, 3½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.2 Spica, less than 2 fist widths to the lower left. The bright “star” 1 fist-width to Spica’s lower left is magnitude 0.3 Saturn. The moon is a little more than two-thirds illuminated.

21 May    Spica is 2 finger-widths to the left or lower left of the moon this evening.

22 May    Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Don’t miss the planetary show these next few evenings. With binoculars and a clear view of the western horizon, look for Venus, Jupiter and Mercury forming a tight group at dusk. The brightest, magnitude -3.9 Venus, becomes visible first. Next comes magnitude -1.9 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the upper left. Last is magnitude -1.1 Mercury, 1 finger-width to the lower right. Be quick, as all three set soon after the sun.

23 May    Mercury is little more than 1 finger-width to Venus’ right or upper right.

24 May    Rising less than 20 minutes before sunrise, the nearly full moon is low in the southeast at midnight in the head of the Scorpion.

25 May    Mercury, Venus and Jupiter form a tight triangle with Venus at the bottom, Jupiter to the upper left and Mercury to the upper right. Two fingers held at arm’s length will cover all three planets. Full moon at 0425 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 12-18 May 5 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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12 May    Look low in the west at evening twilight to find Jupiter 3 finger-widths to the lower right of the thin waxing crescent moon. Only 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

13 May    The moon is at apogee, 63.63 earth-radii, or 406,000 kilometers, away.

15 May    Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width below or to the lower left of the waxing crescent moon, and the Gemini Twins are the same distance to the moon’s upper right. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

16 May    Tonight several prominent stars surround the waxing crescent moon, all about 2 fist-widths away: Procyon to the lower right, the Gemini Twins to the right, Regulus to the upper left and the slightly dimmer Alphard to the lower left. The Big Dipper is high overhead, far to the upper right.

17 May    Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon tonight.

18 May    The first-quarter moon is high in the southwest at dusk. Regulus is 1 fist-width to the upper right.