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USPS Star Calendar for 28 July-3 August 21 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013, July 2013.
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28 Jul    High in the south at first light, the waning gibbous moon is between Alpheratz, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 2.0 Mira, 2 fist-widths to the lower left in the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster.

29 Jul    Rising around midnight, the last-quarter moon (1743 UT) is high in the southwest before dawn tomorrow.

30 Jul    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, magnitude 0.2 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the sun and should be visible before the sky brightens. With your binoculars, try spotting magnitude 1.6 Mars 3 finger-widths above Mercury and magnitude –1.9 Jupiter 1½ finger-widths to Mars’ upper right.

31 Jul    High in the east before dawn, look for the Pleiades Cluster 3 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s upper left. The moon is about one-third illuminated.

1 Aug    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right before dawn.

3 Aug    Over the next few days, the waning crescent moon passes by three planets in the pre-dawn sky. This morning look for magnitude –1.9 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left or lower left, and magnitude 1.6 Mars, 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left. About 10 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (252,000 miles) away.

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USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 July 14 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013.
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21 Jul    Magnitude –3.9 Venus passes within ½ finger-width of magnitude 1.3 Regulus tonight. Low in the west at twilight, the stars set 1½ hours after the sun. The moon is at perigee, 56.2 Earth-radii away (222,000 miles) away.

22 Jul    Low in the east before dawn, magnitude 1.6 Mars passes less than 1 degree from magnitude 1.9 Jupiter. Look quickly, because the sun rises less than 2 hours after the planets, which will soon be lost in the glare. Full moon at 1815 UT

23 Jul    Only a few hours past full, the moon is low in the west before dawn and sets an hour after sunrise. Tonight it rises a half hour after sunset.

25 Jul    The moon rises a couple of hours after sunset. Three days past full, it’s about 90 percent illuminated.

26 Jul    Before dawn, the bright star 3 fist-widths below the moon in the southwest is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut. The same distance above the moon sits magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz in the constellation Andromeda, the Chained Princess, daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 July 7 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013.
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14 Jul    Low in the southwest at dusk, the bright star 4 fist-widths above the waxing crescent moon is magnitude 0.2 Arcturus in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. The Big Dipper is far to the moon’s upper right. Follow the arc of the dipper’s handle to Arcturus, and continue on until you see magnitude 1.2 Spica.

15 Jul    Tonight the moon passes within ½ finger-width of magnitude 1.2 Spica. Viewers in Hawaii will see the moon occult Spica.

16 Jul    Magnitude 0.6 Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right tonight. First-quarter moon at 0318 UT

18 Jul    The moon is in the head of Scorpius, the Scorpion, this evening. Magnitude 1.1 Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion, is 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

19 Jul    The waxing gibbous moon rises 3 hours before sunset and is low in the south as the sun sinks below the western horizon. Traveling across the night sky, the moon sets a little more than two hours before sunrise tomorrow. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

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.