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USPS Star Calendar for 27 March to 2 April 20 March 2011

Posted by amedalen in April 2011, March 2011.
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27 Mar    Rising well after midnight, the waning crescent moon is to the left of Sagittarius low in the southeast at dawn.

29 Mar    Venus is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left this morning. The bright star 3 fist-widths above the moon is magnitude 0.9 Altair, in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle.

30 Mar    Venus is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this morning.

31 Mar    Look low in the east before dawn to see Venus 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

2 Apr    Following its closest perigee on 19 March, the moon reaches its farthest apogee for the year, 63.76 Earth-radii away.

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USPS Star Calendar for 20 to 26 March 13 March 2011

Posted by amedalen in March 2011.
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20 Mar    Tonight, the moon and Spica rise side by side only 1½ finger-widths apart. Traveling together across the night sky, they are low in the southwest at daybreak. Saturn is 1 fist-width to their upper right. The vernal equinox occurs at 2321 UT as the sun crosses the celestial equator into the northern celestial hemisphere, marking the first day of spring.

21 Mar    The moon rises 2 hours after Saturn, which is more than 2 fist-widths away. Spica lies between them.

23 Mar    The moon is to the right of the constellation Scorpius low in the south before dawn. Mercury reaches its greatest elongation, 18.6 degrees east of the sun, and sets 2½ hours after the sun.

24 Mar    Antares, the red heart of Scorpius, is 1 finger-width below the waning gibbous moon this morning. About three-fourths of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

26 Mar    The moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, and magnitude 2.9 Kaus Borealis is 1 finger-width below the moon. Last-quarter moon at 1207 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 13 to 19 March 6 March 2011

Posted by amedalen in March 2011.
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13 Mar    Using your binoculars, measure 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right to find magnitude 3.2 mu Geminorum and 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left to find magnitude 1.9 Alhena, both in the constellation Gemini. Daylight saving time begins in most of the United States at 0200 as clocks are set one hour forward.

14 Mar    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left tonight. The Gemini Twins are less than 1 fist-width above the moon. Mercury is 1 finger-width to Jupiter’s lower right low in the west at dusk.

15 Mar    Magnitude -1.1 Mercury is less than 1 finger-width to the upper right of magnitude -2.1 Jupiter at dusk. Today marks the Ides of March, when Julius Caesar was assassinated.

16 Mar    Tonight, Regulus is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left, and magnitude 2.2 Alphard is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right.

17 Mar    Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon tonight. About 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is St. Patrick’s Day.

19 Mar    Rising a half-hour after sunset, the full moon is followed by Saturn 1 fist-width to the lower left. Spica is 1 fist-width below Saturn, and Arcturus is 3 fist-widths to Saturn’s left. The moon is at perigee, less than 221,830 miles or 55.91 Earth-radii away. This is the moon’s closest approach of the year. Perigee occurs less than 1 hour after the full moon, so expect tidal extremes. Full Worm Moon at 1810 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 6 to 12 March 27 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in March 2011.
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6 Mar     At evening twilight, the thin crescent moon is 2 finger-widths to the right of magnitude -2.1 Jupiter low in the west. Less than five percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at apogee, nearly 252,898 miles or 63.75 Earth-radii away.

7 Mar     The waxing crescent moon is 1 fist-width above Jupiter tonight.

8 Mar     This evening, look 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right to find the navigational star magnitude 2.2 Hamal in the constellation Aries, the Ram. One finger-width below Hamal, you should be able to see magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Using your binoculars, see if you can spot magnitude 4.8 gamma 1 Arietis. Today is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Lent begins.

10 Mar    The Pleiades Cluster is only 1 finger-width above the moon tonight. Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, is 1 fist-width to the upper left. Orion lies beyond Taurus. Use your binoculars. About one-fourth of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is Ash Wednesday.

11 Mar    Aldebaran is only 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the lower right. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

12 Mar    The bright star 2 fist-widths to the right or upper right of the moon is magnitude 0.2 Capella. The navigational star magnitude 1.8 Elnath is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right in line with Capella. Using your binoculars, see if you can find magnitude 3.0 zeta Tauri, 1 finger-width left of the moon. First-quarter moon at 2345 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 27 February to 5 March 20 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in February 2011, March 2011.
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28 Feb    Low in the southeast before dawn, brilliant Venus is 2 to 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Less than one-fourth of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

1 Mar     A thin sliver of moon can be seen to the lower left of Venus just before dawn.

2 Mar     You will need a clear view of the eastern horizon to see the waning crescent moon at first light. Venus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

4 Mar     New moon at 2046 UT

5 Mar     If you have a clear view of the western horizon, test your binocular skills tonight. As the sun dips from view, try to spot Mercury and the thin waxing crescent moon 3 finger-widths to its upper right. You won’t have much time, because Mercury sets only 20 minutes after the sun.