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USPS Star Calendar for 25 November-1 December 18 November 2012

Posted by amedalen in December 2012, November 2012.
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25 Nov    Magnitude 2.2 Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation Aries, the Ram, is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this evening. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians and Greeks all called this group of stars the Ram.

26 Nov    Venus is less than one-half finger-width from Saturn, which is to the lower left this morning and to the upper left tomorrow morning.

27 Nov    The Pleiades Cluster is to the moon’s upper left tonight.

28 Nov    The full moon passes within 0.67 degrees of Jupiter tonight. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the lower right. The moon is at apogee, 63.71 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

30 Nov    The moon rises 2 hours after sunset. Look for Betelgeuse 1 fist-width to the right and the Gemini Twins 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is almost 2 finger-widths to the lower right.

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USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 November 11 November 2012

Posted by amedalen in November 2012.
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18 Nov    Venus and Spica rise 2½ hours before the sun.

19 Nov    Venus falls closer to the horizon and is now 2 finger-widths to Spica’s lower left.

20 Nov    Tonight is also a good night for viewing the Leonids. The first-quarter moon is high in the south at nightfall. Most nearby stars are third magnitude or dimmer. Magnitude 0.9 Altair is nearly 4 fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths to the lower left. How many lower-magnitude stars can you spot near the moon? Magnitude 3.2 Sadalmelik is 2 finger-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 3.0 Deneb Algedi is 1 fist-width to the lower right.

21 Nov    High in the south at dusk, the Great Square of Pegasus is a couple of fist-widths above or to the upper left of the waxing gibbous moon.

24 Nov    The moon is in the constellation Pisces, the Fish. In this faint constellation none of the stars are brighter than fourth magnitude. In Greco-Roman myth, Aphrodite and her son Heros were chased by the monster Typhon. To escape they transformed into fish and tied their tails together to make sure they would never be separated. The two fish form a V in the sky where they are tied. The moon is 1 fist-width above the base of the V.

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 November 4 November 2012

Posted by amedalen in November 2012.
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11 Nov    Rising less than 3 hours before the sun, Venus and the waning crescent moon are low in the east at dawn. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, and magnitude 0.6 Saturn is 1 fist-width beyond Spica near the horizon. Watch as they disappear in the sun’s glow.

12 Nov    Saturn and the thin crescent moon rise an hour before the sun. Look quickly, as they will soon be lost in the sun’s glare.

14 Nov    The moon is at perigee, 56.03 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. With perigee occurring 12.4 hours after the new moon, we can expect higher than normal tides.

15 Nov    Mars is 3 finger-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s upper left low in the west at nightfall.

16 Nov    Magnitude -4.0 Venus passes close to Spica low in the east the next few mornings. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 finger-widths to Venus’ lower left.

17 Nov    Compared to Spica, Venus is closer to the horizon this morning. The Leonid meteor shower peaks tonight with no moon to spoil the show.

USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 November 28 October 2012

Posted by amedalen in November 2012.
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4 Nov    High in the south before dawn, Orion is to the far lower right of the waning gibbous moon. The Gemini Twins are to the moon’s upper left, and Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left. Daylight saving time ends at 0200. Turn your clocks back one hour.

5 Nov    Before dawn, Procyon is 1 fist-width below the moon, and the Gemini Twins are the same distance to the upper right.

7 Nov    Magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left before dawn, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 2½ fist-widths to the right.

8 Nov    Regulus is less than 4 finger-widths above the moon before first light. About 40 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

9 Nov    The moon rises well after midnight, making the next few nights a great opportunity to view stars normally overwhelmed by its glow. Let’s start at Orion, the Mighty Hunter. The three stars that make up Orion’s belt are nearly vertical. Magnitude 1.7 Bellatrix is to the belt’s upper left. From Bellatrix, look 4 finger-widths to the upper right to find the six third- and fourth-magnitude stars that form his curved shield. Look to the belt’s lower right to find the Orion Nebula.

10 Nov    From Orion, look up to find magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran this evening. Brilliant magnitude -2.8 Jupiter lingers to the left. Using binoculars, explore the area above and to the right of Aldebaran. You should be able to make out at least a half dozen fourth-magnitude stars.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 October-3 November 21 October 2012

Posted by amedalen in November 2012, October 2012.
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29 Oct    The full moon rises at sunset. Later tonight, the star 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower right is magnitude 2.0 Mira, in the constellation Cetus, the whale that swallowed Jonah.

30 Oct    Rising 1½ hours after sunset, the moon and the Pleiades Cluster are high in the southeast at midnight. The Pleiades is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left. Aldebaran is 1½ fist-widths below the Pleiades, and Jupiter is 3 to 4 finger-widths to Aldebaran’s left.

31 Oct    The moon lies midway between the Pleiades, 3 finger-widths above, and Aldebaran, the same distance below. Jupiter is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left.

1 Nov    Less than 1 finger-width separates Jupiter and the moon as they rise above the horizon. By midnight, Jupiter is 1 finger-width above the moon high in the east. Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s right and bright magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2½ fist-widths to Jupiter’s upper left. The moon is at apogee, 63.67 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

3 Nov    The waning gibbous moon and the Gemini Twins, 1½ fist-widths to the left, rise late this evening. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right. The moon is more than 80 percent illuminated.