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USPS Star Calendar for 26 May-1 June 19 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013, May 2013.
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26 May    Tonight Jupiter slips lower and Mercury climbs higher; within 3 degrees of each other, they form a tight triangle with Venus. By tomorrow morning, they fit within a 2.43-degree diameter circle. The moon is at perigee, 56.19 Earth-radii, or 358,000 kilometers, away. Perigee occurs 21 hours after the full moon, so expect extreme tides.

27 May    Jupiter and Venus stand side by side ½ finger-width apart tonight. Mercury has climbed to the upper right. Before dawn, the moon stands above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the southwest.

28 May    Jupiter slips to Venus’ lower left, and Mercury continues to climb.

29 May    Before dawn, look 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right to find magnitude 0.9 Altair.

30 May    Mercury climbs higher, and Jupiter sinks lower, forming a nearly straight line with Venus 3 finger-widths long.

31 May    Last-quarter moon at 1858 UT

1 Jun    The waning crescent moon rises 4 hours before the sun and is high in the southeast at first light.

USPS Star Calendar for 19-25 May 12 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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20 May    Tonight, the moon is high in the south between magnitude 1.3 Regulus, 3½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.2 Spica, less than 2 fist widths to the lower left. The bright “star” 1 fist-width to Spica’s lower left is magnitude 0.3 Saturn. The moon is a little more than two-thirds illuminated.

21 May    Spica is 2 finger-widths to the left or lower left of the moon this evening.

22 May    Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Don’t miss the planetary show these next few evenings. With binoculars and a clear view of the western horizon, look for Venus, Jupiter and Mercury forming a tight group at dusk. The brightest, magnitude -3.9 Venus, becomes visible first. Next comes magnitude -1.9 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the upper left. Last is magnitude -1.1 Mercury, 1 finger-width to the lower right. Be quick, as all three set soon after the sun.

23 May    Mercury is little more than 1 finger-width to Venus’ right or upper right.

24 May    Rising less than 20 minutes before sunrise, the nearly full moon is low in the southeast at midnight in the head of the Scorpion.

25 May    Mercury, Venus and Jupiter form a tight triangle with Venus at the bottom, Jupiter to the upper left and Mercury to the upper right. Two fingers held at arm’s length will cover all three planets. Full moon at 0425 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 12-18 May 5 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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12 May    Look low in the west at evening twilight to find Jupiter 3 finger-widths to the lower right of the thin waxing crescent moon. Only 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

13 May    The moon is at apogee, 63.63 earth-radii, or 406,000 kilometers, away.

15 May    Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width below or to the lower left of the waxing crescent moon, and the Gemini Twins are the same distance to the moon’s upper right. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

16 May    Tonight several prominent stars surround the waxing crescent moon, all about 2 fist-widths away: Procyon to the lower right, the Gemini Twins to the right, Regulus to the upper left and the slightly dimmer Alphard to the lower left. The Big Dipper is high overhead, far to the upper right.

17 May    Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon tonight.

18 May    The first-quarter moon is high in the southwest at dusk. Regulus is 1 fist-width to the upper right.

USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 May 28 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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5 May    Leo, the Lion, dominates the southern sky. Its brightest star, magnitude 1.3 Regulus, is easy to spot in the south. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 4 fist-widths to Regulus’ lower right. Magnitude 2.2 Alphard, in the constellation Hydra, the Sea Serpent, is 2 fist-widths below Regulus. Magnitude 1.2 Spica lies far to the lower left of Regulus. Noticeably brighter, Saturn is just beyond Spica.

6 May    The bright star halfway up from the eastern horizon is magnitude 0.2 Arcturus, in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Arcturus comes from the Greek, meaning “guardian of the bear.”

7 May    In the early evening, the Big Dipper is upside down high overhead with its handle extending to the right.

9 May    For the best view of today’s annular solar eclipse, you will have to go to Australia or New Guinea. Those in Hawaii will see a partial eclipse. New moon at 0028 UT

10 May    The moon sets less than an hour after the sun but if you have a clear view of the western horizon, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the thin waxing crescent moon just to the lower left of Venus.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 April-4 May 21 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in April 2013, May 2013.
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28 Apr    Before first light, look for Antares 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right low in the southwest. Only three days past full, the moon is more than 90 percent illuminated.

1 May    May Day, related to the Celtic festival Beltane, features bonfires and maypoles.

2 May    Low in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon is 2½ fist-widths below or to the lower left of bright magnitude 0.9 Altair.

4 May    Get out and enjoy the free light show during the next few moonless nights. Orion sets shortly after sunset, leaving Gemini in the west. Look 3 fist-widths to Gemini’s lower right to see magnitude 0.2 Capella, in the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer.