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USPS Star Calendar for 29 January-4 February 22 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in February 2012, January 2012.
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29 Jan    High in the southwest at nightfall, the moon is a little more than 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s right.

30 Jan    Jupiter is a little more than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right at dusk. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii, 404,000 kilometers, away.

31 Jan    At dusk, look for the Pleiades Cluster 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and Jupiter nearly 2 fist-widths to its lower right.

1 Feb    High in the south at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 4 finger-widths to the lower left. Orion lies farther to the lower left. The bright “star” 3 fist-widths to the lower right is magnitude -2.3 Jupiter.

2 Feb    Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the waxing gibbous moon’s lower right tonight. More than two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is Candlemas or Groundhog Day, one of the cross-quarter days halfway between solstices and equinoxes.

3 Feb    Look high in the south 3 hours after sunset to see the moon surrounded by Aldebaran nearly 2 fist-widths to the left, the Gemini Twins 2½ fist-widths to the right, Orion 1 fist-width below and magnitude 0.2 Capella nearly overhead.

4 Feb    Look to the east at dusk to see the Gemini Twins 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left and magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, the brightest star on Orion, the same distance to the right. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is nearly 2 fist-widths below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 January 15 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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22 Jan    Have you been watching Venus and Jupiter? They began the month 7½ fist-widths apart and are now only 5 fist-widths apart. Jupiter remains relatively stationary in relation to the background stars as Venus quickly climbs to meet the giant planet.

25 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude -4.1 Venus is 4 finger-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s upper left. Less than 5 percent of the moon is illuminated.

26 Jan    Venus is less than 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, low in the west in the early evening. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Jan    The moon is between Jupiter, less than 2 fist-widths to the upper left, and Venus, 2½ fist-widths below, close to the horizon. The two planets are less than 4½ fist-widths apart.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 January 8 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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15 Jan    Spica and Saturn are to the moon’s upper left in the southern sky before dawn. Growing closer, Venus and Jupiter are less than 6 fist-widths apart tonight.

16 Jan    The last-quarter moon is high in the south before dawn, with Spica 2 finger-widths to the upper right and Saturn 3 finger-widths to the upper left. The bright star 3½ fist-widths above the moon is magnitude 0.2 Arcturus.

17 Jan    The moon is at perigee, 57.99 Earth-radii, 370,000 kilometers, away.

18 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon is just to the right of the head of the Scorpion constellation, Scorpius, low in the south before first light.

19 Jan    Before dawn, the thin waning crescent moon will be low in the southeast with Antares less than 2 finger-widths to the lower right. Only about 20 percent of the moon is illuminated.

20 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon rises less than 2½ hours before the sun this morning. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 January 1 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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8 Jan    The moon is high in the southeast late tonight with the Gemini Twins to the left and Orion to the right. Far to the left in the northeast, the Big Dipper stands on its handle.

9 Jan    The moon rises less than an hour after sunset with Procyon 1 fist-width to the right. They are high in the east later tonight, with the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the upper left.

10 Jan    Late this evening, look for the moon between Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right. The Big Dipper is standing on its handle 5 fist-widths to the left.

11 Jan    The moon and Regulus rise side by side 3 hours after sunset. Mars follows 2 hours later. By midnight, the moon is high in the east with Regulus 3 finger-widths to the left and Mars 2½ fist-widths to the lower left.

12 Jan    In the southwest before dawn, Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Mars is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. The Big Dipper is high in the north with its handle pointing up.

13 Jan    Low in the southwest before dawn, Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right while Mars is 1 fist-width to the upper left. Close together, Spica and Saturn are 4 fist-widths to the upper left. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is noticeably dimmer than magnitude 0.6 Saturn.

14 Jan    Before dawn, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right. Today is 1 Jan. on the Julian calendar, the first day of the Roman year 2765 A.U.C., ab urbe condita or “from the city founded.”

USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 January 25 December 2011

Posted by amedalen in January 2012.
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1 Jan    High in the south at sunset, magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the first-quarter moon’s lower left, and magnitude -4.0 Venus is near the western horizon, more than 6 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. Keep an eye on these planets as they grow closer during the coming weeks and months.

2 Jan    At dusk, look high in the south for Jupiter, 2 finger-widths below the waxing gibbous moon. The moon is at apogee, 63.43 Earth-radii, or 405,000 kilometers, away.

3 Jan    Late tonight, the moon is high in the southwest, midway between Jupiter, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right, and the Pleiades Cluster, to the upper left. Orion is high in the south.

4 Jan    About 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Early this evening, look for the Pleiades Cluster 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left and Jupiter far to the right or upper right, depending on your time of viewing.

5 Jan    The bright star 3 finger-widths below the moon tonight is magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran. Orion is a couple of fist-widths beyond Aldebaran. Earth is at perihelion, its closest approach to the sun for the year. It is only 0.98327 astronomical units, about 147,096,000 kilometers, away.

6 Jan    The moon rises about 2 hours before sunset. Low in the east at dusk, the first star to appear is magnitude 0.2 Capella, 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Next is magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right near the horizon. Aldebaran is next, appearing 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right.

7 Jan    Straddled by Orion to the right and Gemini to the lower left, the moon rises a little more than 1 hour before sunset. Later tonight look just above the horizon for magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 2½ fist-widths below the moon.