jump to navigation

USPS Star Calendar for 2-8 March 23 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in March 2014.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

3 Mar    The waxing crescent moon sets three hours after the sun. Less than 10 percent illuminated, the moon is surrounded by three second-magnitude stars: Alpheratz, 2½ fist-widths to the right; Mira, 2 fist-widths to the upper left; and Hamal, 2 fist-widths above.

4 Mar    Tonight the moon lies between Mira and Hamal. If you are far away from city lights, you should be able to spot the third-magnitude star 2 finger-widths below Hamal, magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Both stars are in the constellation Aries, the Ram.

6 Mar    In the early evening, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the west. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

7 Mar    As the sky darkens and the stars become visible, look for Aldebaran, 1 finger-width below the moon high in the southwest at sunset.

8 Mar    Several first-magnitude stars and a planet surround the moon high in the south at sunset: Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the lower left; magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the lower right; magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2½ fist-widths to the upper right; and magnitude –2.4 Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left.

Advertisements

USPS Star Calendar for 23 February-1 March 16 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014, March 2014.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

23 Feb    The moon spends the next three days traveling between Saturn and Venus. This morning Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Venus is 3½ fist-widths to the lower left.

24 Feb    Venus is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left, and Saturn is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

25 Feb    The waning crescent moon is now less than 1 fist-width to Venus’ upper right. Only 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

26 Feb    The moon passes to Venus’s lower left today.

27 Feb    The moon is at perigee, 56.57 Earth-radii (360,000 kilometers) away. Before the sky gets too bright this morning, look for Mercury less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Only two days before new, the moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

28 Feb    With a new moon early tomorrow morning, tonight is prime time for stargazing. High in the south at sunset, Jupiter is the first visible light in the evening sky. Orion stands to its lower right. Follow the three stars in Orion’s belt 2 fist-widths to the lower left to Sirius, the Dog Star, in the constellation Canis Major.

1 March   Look to the northeast at dusk to see the Big Dipper standing on its handle. The thin waxing crescent moon sets soon after the sun, making this a good opportunity to spot the Little Dipper. First find Polaris, the North Star, by following the pointer stars on the Big Dipper’s bucket 3 fist-widths to the left. Polaris marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. The rest of the handle arcs nearly 2 fist-widths to the lower right. The bucket hangs downward from the handle.

USPS Star Calendar for 16-22 February 9 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

16 Feb    High in the southwest at midnight, Regulus is more than 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right; Spica and Mars are 3 fist-widths to the lower left just above the horizon.

18 Feb    The moon rises four hours after sunset; Spica and Mars follow a half hour later. By midnight, the trio remains low in the eastern sky.

19 Feb    The moon, Spica and Mars are low in the southwest before first light. Spica is 1 finger-width to the moon’s left, and Mars is 3 finger-widths to its upper left.

20 Feb    Three planets—Mars, Saturn and Venus—are visible in the pre-dawn sky, and the moon passes all three in the next few days. Yesterday, the moon was 3 finger-widths to Mars’ lower right. This morning, it is 4 finger-widths to Mars’ lower left. Saturn is nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s left. Venus is far to the left, near the eastern horizon.

21 Feb    The moon is now a little more than 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s right. Mars is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s right or upper right. Later this afternoon when they are below the horizon, the moon and Saturn will pass within 0.3 degrees.

22 Feb    The last-quarter moon passes to the left of Saturn, and the bright star 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left is magnitude 1.1 Antares.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 February 2 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

10 Feb    Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is near the moon’s lower right. The moon’s brightness may overwhelm the star, so binoculars will help. Late tonight, Mars and Spica rise side by side, little more than 2 finger-widths apart. At magnitude 0.0, Mars is noticeably brighter than magnitude 1.2 Spica.

11 Feb    The first “star” to appear at dusk is magnitude -2.5 Jupiter, 1 fist-width above the moon high in the east. As the sky darkens, magnitude 1.5 Procyon becomes visible 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. Next, Pollux and then Castor emerge 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left. The equation of time is at minimum for the year, -14.25 minutes. Magnitude -4.6 Venus is at its brightest.

12 Feb    The moon is at apogee, 63.76 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

14 Feb    Regulus rises alongside the full moon, and the pair are high in the southeast by midnight with Regulus 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left.

15 Feb    The moon rises an hour after sunset. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the left near the horizon. At inferior conjunction, Mercury passes between the sun and Earth and will soon be visible in the pre-dawn sky.