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USPS Star Calendar for 29 April-5 May 22 April 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012, May 2012.
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30 Apr    Above the moon tonight, bright Mars is to the left of Regulus. About 60 percent of the waxing gibbous moon’s surface is illuminated.

1 May    High in the south in the early evening, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Regulus is to Mars’ right.

2 May    Tonight the moon is midway between Mars, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and Saturn, the same distance to the lower left.

3 May    Magnitude 1.2 Spica and magnitude 0.3 Saturn are less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left tonight.

4 May    Late tonight, Spica is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right and Saturn is 4 finger-widths above or to the upper left. More than 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

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USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 April 15 April 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012.
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22 Apr    With a clear view of the western horizon at dusk, you can glimpse magnitude -2.0 Jupiter less than 2 finger-widths below the thin waxing crescent moon. Jupiter sets about an hour after the sun. Less than 5 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.72 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

23 Apr    The Pleiades Cluster is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right tonight.

24 Apr    Low in the west at sunset, magnitude -4.5 Venus is 3 finger-widths to the waxing crescent moon’s upper right, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is the same distance below the moon, and Orion is close to the moon’s left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

25 Apr    Venus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right at dusk. The pair slips below the western horizon at midnight.

27 Apr    High in the south at sunset, the moon is between the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, 1 fist-width to the upper right and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, the same distance to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 April 8 April 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012.
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15 Apr    The equation of time is zero, which means apparent (sundial) and mean solar (clock) time are the same. At opposition, Saturn rises around sunset. Spica is 2 finger-widths to the right.

16 Apr    The thin waning crescent moon rises 2½ hours before the sun. Less than 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

18 Apr    At its greatest elongation west of the sun, 27.5 degrees, Mercury rises nearly a half hour before the sun.

19 Apr    The moon and Mercury rise side by side an hour before sunrise. Only about 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

21 Apr    The Lyrids meteor shower peaks tonight and tomorrow morning, and the new moon makes for favorable viewing.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 April 1 April 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012.
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8 Apr    Although Easter is intended to be the Sunday after the full moon or vernal equinox, assumptions in this rule do not necessarily correspond with celestial events. The vernal equinox, assumed to be on 21 March, could occur on 19 or 20 March as well. The date assumed for the full moon also may not coincide with the actual astronomical date, which means Easter could fall anywhere from 22 March to 25 April—a 35-day span.

10 Apr    Low in the south before dawn, Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

11 Apr    Rising early, the moon is high in the south at first light with Antares far to the lower right and Sagittarius to the lower left.

14 Apr    High in the west after sunset, magnitude 0.9 Aldebaran is less than 1 fist-width to brilliant Venus’ lower left.

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.