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USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 December 18 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
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26 Dec    Brilliant magnitude -4.0 Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left tonight. They set 2.5 hours after the sun, so look quickly with your binoculars. Less than 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

27 Dec    The moon is 1 fist-width above Venus in the early evening. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

29 Dec    The moon is between Venus, 3 fist-widths to the lower right, and Jupiter, 5 fist-widths to the upper left.

30 Dec    High in the southwest at dusk, Venus is 4 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Jupiter is nearly the same distance to the upper left.

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USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 December 11 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
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18 Dec    High in the south at dawn, Mars is nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, while magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is less than 3 finger-widths to the left of noticeably dimmer Spica. First-quarter moon at 0048 UT (1948 EST yesterday)

19 Dec    In the south before dawn, Spica is 3 finger-widths left of the moon and Saturn is the same distance beyond Spica. With your binoculars, see if you can tell a difference in color between Spica and Saturn. Saturn should seem slightly yellow or orange compared to white Spica.

20 Dec    Saturn and Spica are 3-4 finger-widths above the moon this morning.

22 Dec    Get out your binoculars early this morning and try to spot the ever elusive Mercury as it reaches its greatest elongation west 21.8 degrees from the sun at 2200 EST tonight. Rising more than an hour before first light, Mercury is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left before dawn. Less than 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at perigee, 57.2 Earth-radii, or 365,000 kilometers, away. The winter solstice occurs at 0530 UT.

24 Dec    New moon at 1806 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 December 4 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
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11 Dec    The moon rises a little more than an hour after sunset. By late evening, it’s high in the east with Orion to its right and Gemini to its left. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 2 fist-widths below the moon.

12 Dec    Orion, the Gemini Twins and the moon rise within a few minutes of each other this evening. Later tonight, the Gemini Twins are close to the moon’s upper left high in the east. Orion is to the moon’s upper right, and Procyon is 1 fist-width to the lower right.

13 Dec    The moon rises 3 hours after sunset. At midnight, Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s right high in the southeast.

15 Dec    After midnight, look for Regulus 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left and Mars a little more than 1 fist-width to Regulus’ lower left. High in the southwest before dawn, the moon is between Regulus to the upper right and Mars to the upper left.

16 Dec    Rising late this evening, Regulus, Mars and the moon are best viewed before dawn tomorrow. Regulus is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the south, and Mars is less than 1 fist-width above the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 December 27 November 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011.
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4 Dec    Jupiter is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s left or lower left tonight. The moon is two-thirds illuminated.

5 Dec    Tonight Jupiter is only 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

6 Dec    The moon passes Jupiter tonight 3 finger-widths to the planet’s upper left. The moon is at apogee 63.56 Earth-radii, or 405,000 kilometers, away.

7 Dec    Late tonight, the moon is high in the southeast between Jupiter, 1.5 fist-widths to the right or upper right, and the Pleiades, 1 fist-width to the lower left. Orion is to the lower left, closer to the horizon.

8 Dec    The Pleiades Cluster is only 1 finger-width to the upper left of the nearly full moon, making viewing difficult.

9 Dec    Using binoculars, look for magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right late tonight. The Pleiades Cluster is more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, making viewing much easier.

10 Dec    The total lunar eclipse will appear as a partial eclipse in most of the United States. The best viewing will be in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Full moon at 1436 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 27 November-3 December 20 November 2011

Posted by amedalen in December 2011, November 2011.
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27 Nov    Tonight Venus is nearly 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right.

28 Nov    Altair is 2.5 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right low in the west at dusk. The moon sets less than 2 hours after the sun.

30 Nov    Less than one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated, so it shouldn’t outshine the dimmer stars nearby. Get your binoculars and look for magnitude 3.1 Sadalsuud 2 finger-widths above the moon and magnitude 3.0 Deneb Algedi 3 finger-widths to the lower left. You should also be able to spot several dimmer fourth and fifth magnitude stars within 2 or 3 finger-widths of the moon.

2 Dec    The bright star 3 fist-widths below the moon tonight is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut. First-quarter moon at 0952 UT

3 Dec    Magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz is 2.5 fist-widths above or to the upper left of the moon tonight.