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USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 July 30 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013.
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7 Jul    The moon is at apogee, 63.73 Earth-radii (253,000 miles) away.

8 Jul    New moon at 0714 UT

9 Jul    Mercury passes between Earth and the sun at inferior conjunction and will soon be visible in the morning sky.

11 Jul    Look low in the west at dusk to see magnitude 1.3 Regulus 3 finger-widths to the waxing crescent moon’s upper right and magnitude –3.9 Venus 1½ fist widths to the right. The moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

13 Jul    In the early evening, the Big Dipper stands high in the north with its handle pointing upward. Follow the pointer stars at the bucket end 3 fist-widths to the North Star, magnitude 2.1 Polaris. Continue along that line to Cassiopeia, the Lazy W constellation.

USPS Star Calendar for 30 June-6 July 23 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013, June 2013.
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30 Jun    Last-quarter moon at 0453 UT

1 Jul    Magnitude –3.9 Venus is low in the west at sunset with magnitude 1.3 Regulus 2½ fist-widths to the upper left.

2 Jul    In the early evening, you’ll find the Big Dipper, Ursa Major, with its handle pointing up high in the southwest. It rotates counterclockwise and sinks toward the horizon as the evening passes. The year is half over at 1200 UT.

4 Jul    With the moon rising more than 2½ hours before the sun, tonight is a good time to view the Pleiades Cluster, 3 finger-widths to the upper left, and Aldebaran, 1 fist-width to the lower left.

5 Jul    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the right of the waning crescent moon this morning. At around 1500 UT, Earth reaches aphelion, its farthest distance from the sun at 1.01670 astronomical units (94 million miles) away. Aphelion varies from as early as 2 July to as late as 6 July. Earth is about 3.1 million miles more distant than it was at perihelion on 2 Jan.

USPS Star Calendar for 23-29 June 16 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013.
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23 Jun    The moon is at perigee, 55.97 Earth-radii, or 357,000 kilometers, away. Perigee occurs less than a half hour before the full moon, so we can expect tidal extremes. Full moon at 1132 UT

24 Jun    Three finger-widths to the lower left of Pollux, Venus lines up with the Gemini Twins over the next two evenings. Look quickly because Venus sets little more than an hour and a half after the sun.

25 Jun    Rising late, the moon is low in the southwest before dawn. Only a couple of days past full, the moon is 95 percent illuminated.

27 Jun    High in the south at dawn, Altair is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths to its lower left. The moon is 80 percent illuminated.

28 Jun    Before dawn, you’ll find magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 16-22 June 9 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013.
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16 Jun    High in the southwest at dusk, the first-quarter moon sits between Regulus, 3 fist-widths to the right or lower right, and Spica, 2 fist-widths to the left. Venus and Mercury pass close to each other during the next few evenings. Tonight Venus is 1½ finger-widths to Mercury’s lower right. On this day in 1963, Valentina Tereschkova became the first woman in space.

17 Jun    Moving closer, the moon is about 1 fist-width to Spica’s right tonight. Can you make out dim stars between the moon and Spica? You will need good binoculars to see magnitude 4.9 psi Virginis and magnitude 5.3 49 Virginis. 

18 Jun    The waxing gibbous moon is high in the south at sunset. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 finger-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 0.4 Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the upper left. Low in the west, Venus is 1 finger-width to the right of Mercury. About two-thirds of the moon is illuminated.

19 Jun    Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right tonight.

20 Jun    Tonight, the moon is to the right of Scorpius, the head of the Scorpion. Low in the west at dusk, Mercury is 1.9 degrees to the lower left of Venus.

21 Jun    Magnitude 1.1 Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight. The summer solstice occurs at 0504 UT, as the sun reaches the point farthest north of the celestial equator.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 June 2 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013.
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9 Jun    The moon is at apogee, 63.73 Earth-radii, or 406,000 kilometers, away.

10 Jun    With a clear view of the western horizon after dusk, you should be able to spot Mercury and Venus to the moon’s right. Get out early, because Venus and the moon slip below the horizon 1½ hours after sunset, and Mercury follows 20 minutes later.

11 Jun    A little higher this evening, the moon, now to the upper left of Venus and Mercury, sets 2 hours after the sun. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

12 Jun    Mercury is at its greatest elongation, 24.3 degrees east of the sun.

13 Jun    Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left this evening.

14 Jun    Tonight, Regulus is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right.