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USPS Star Calendar for 24-30 November 17 November 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013.
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24 Nov    Now racing at 4 to 5 degrees per day, Comet ISON passes only 5 degrees from Mercury and Saturn. The comet is predicted to brighten to magnitude 0.4 to 0.0 compared with magnitude –0.7 Mercury and magnitude 0.6 Saturn. Spica is far to the upper right of Comet ISON’s head, but the tail may extend all the way up to Spica or even farther.

25 Nov    High in the south before dawn, magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the upper left of the first-quarter moon, and Mars is 2½ fist-widths to the lower left. During the next few mornings, the moon moves left toward Mars. Mercury and Saturn are close, low in the east before dawn. They rise 1½ hours before the sun, so you will have to look quickly. Magnitude –0.7 Mercury is less than 1 degree to the upper right of magnitude 0.6 Saturn.

26 Nov    This morning, Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Mars is the same distance to the lower left. Saturn is less than 1 degree above Mercury.

27 Nov    Mars is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this morning.

28 Nov    At perihelion, Comet ISON may be brighter than Sirius and Venus or even as bright as a half moon, and could be visible during daylight.

29 Nov    Spica is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left tonight. Only 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

30 Nov    The moon is between Spica, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and magnitude 0.6 Saturn, about the same distance to the lower left. Look quickly because Saturn rises less than 2 hours before the sun and will quickly be lost in the brightness.

USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 November 10 November 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013.
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17 Nov    The full moon rises within a few minutes of sunset with the Pleiades Cluster to its upper left. At midnight, the Pleiades Cluster is above the moon with Aldebaran to the lower left and Orion near the horizon.

18 Nov    The moon rises an hour after sunset with Aldebaran less than 2 finger-widths to the right or upper right. Still in Sagittarius, Venus passes within a fraction of a degree below magnitude 2.1 Nunki, in the handle of the Teapot.  Comet ISON passes close to Spica low in the west before dawn. Moving 2–3 degrees a day, the comet may already have an impressive tail.

19 Nov    Nearing Mercury, Comet ISON is a few degrees to Spica’s lower left.

20 Nov    Rising 3 hours after sunset, the moon is to Orion’s left. Then rising a half-hour later, Jupiter and the Gemini Twins are to the moon’s lower left.

21 Nov    Tonight, Jupiter rises a few minutes before the moon, which is less than 3 finger-widths to the lower right with the Gemini Twins a little farther to the left. Comet ISON may be as bright as magnitude 1.8 this morning.

22 Nov    The moon is at apogee, 63.57 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) from Earth.

USPS Star Calendar for 10-16 November 3 November 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013.
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10 Nov    The first-quarter moon is high in the south at sunset and sets just after midnight.

11 Nov    Low in the southwest at dusk, Venus enters the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, and crosses the dome over the next few evenings, finally exiting on the 15th.

12 Nov    Using binoculars, look for Venus which passes less than 1 finger-width to the lower left of magnitude 2.9 Kaus Borealis, the uppermost star of Sagittarius’ dome.

13 Nov    The waxing gibbous moon is high in the southeast at sunset. About 80 percent of the surface is illuminated.

15 Nov    Exiting the dome of the Teapot this evening, Venus is one-half degree to the right of magnitude 3.3 Phi Sagittarii.

USPS Star Calendar for 3-9 November 27 October 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013.
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3 Nov    Change your clocks back one hour this morning. The equation of time is at maximum for the year, 16.48 minutes. This means that at noon mean solar time (clock time), the sun has already passed the meridian, 16 minutes earlier. To see today’s total solar eclipse, you will need to go to Africa; however, those in the northeastern U.S. will get a glimpse of a partial eclipse at sunrise.

4 Nov    Only one day old, the moon sets an hour after the sun, making for dark evening skies and good stargazing opportunities. Beginning low in the southwest, brilliant magnitude –4.4 Venus is easy to spot soon after sunset. Don’t wait too long, because it sinks below the horizon 2½ hours later. Look 4½ fist-widths above Venus to magnitude 0.9 Altair. Low in the southeast, 6½ fist-widths to Venus’ left is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut.

5 Nov    Late this evening, find Fomalhaut low in the south and magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos, 2½ fist-widths to the left or upper left. Nearly 3 fist-widths to the left of Deneb Kaitos is magnitude 2.0 Mira. Don’t miss Cassiopeia, the lazy “W” constellation far to the upper left.

6 Nov    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude –4.5 Venus is 3 finger-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s lower left. The moon is at perigee, 57.28 Earth-radii (365,000 kilometers) from Earth. Only 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

7 Nov    After the moon sets 4 hours after the sun, the sky should be dark enough to see a few of the dimmer stars if you are away from light pollution. Look to the northwest. How many stars can you see in the constellation, Cygnus, the Swan? Of the three bright stars in the area, two are near the horizon. The highest is part of the Swan, magnitude 1.3 Deneb, the head. Three finger-widths to the lower left is magnitude 2.3 Sadr, the center of the Swan’s body. The wings are made up of magnitude 2.6 epsilon cygni, 4 finger-widths to the upper left, and magnitude 3.0 delta cygni, a little farther to the lower right of Sadr. The tail extends 1½ fist-widths to the lower left and ends with magnitude 3.2 Albireo. How many stars can you see between Sadr and Albireo with your naked eye? If the sky is dark enough you should be able to see three fourth-magnitude stars. Now, how many can you see with your binoculars?

9 Nov    High in the south at sunset, the moon is between magnitude 0.9 Altair, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut, 3 fist-widths to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 27 October-2 November 20 October 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013, October 2013.
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28 Oct    High in the south before first light, the waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus, 4 finger-widths to the lower left. Mars is 4 finger-widths to Regulus’ lower left.

29 Oct    Mars, Regulus and the moon form a tight triangle before dawn in the east.

1 Nov     The thin waning crescent moon rises 2 hours before the sun this morning. Spica rises later, directly below the moon. Arcturus is more than 3 fist-widths to the left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to Arcturus’ upper left. Venus reaches its greatest elongation, 47.1 degrees east of the sun.