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USPS Star Calendar for 10-16 May 3 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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10 May    Look to the lower left of the Big Dipper for the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, in the west. Brilliant Venus is 2 fist-widths to the Twins’ lower right. You should be able to spot two bright stars to Venus’ left. Alhena is the brighter of the two. How many stars can you see between Alhena and Pollux? Now look again with binoculars.

12 May    This evening, Jupiter is high in the southwest. Regulus, in the constellation Leo, the Lion, is 1½ fist-widths to Regulus’ left. Five fist-widths beyond Regulus is Spica, in the constellation Virgo. Saturn is nearly 4 fist-widths to Spica’s lower right, near the horizon in the southeast.

13 May    To find the Little Dipper, follow the pointer stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s handle 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Polaris. Polaris is at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. Kochab, 1½ fist-widths to Polaris’ upper right, is one of the Little Dipper’s corners. Another corner is Pherkad, 2 finger-widths to Kochab’s right or lower right. You may need binoculars to see the other stars of the dipper and handle.

15 May    The moon is at perigee, 57.39 Earth-radii (366,000 kilometers) away.

16 May    Only two days before new, the moon rises less than an hour before the sun and is no more than a thin sliver, low in the east before dawn.

 

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USPS Star Calendar for 19-25 April 12 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015.
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19 Apr    At dusk, Mars is less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Mercury is less than 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower right.

21 Apr    Mercury is less than a finger-width to Mars’ lower left, low in the west this evening. The moon, Venus and Aldebaran form a tight triangle early tonight, with Venus 4 finger-widths to the moon’s right or upper right. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. Orion is 1 fist-width to the left.

22 Apr    Mercury is less than 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right.

23 Apr    At dusk, Alhena is 1 finger-width below the moon. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths beyond Alhena. Pollux is about 1½ fist-widths above the moon.

24 Apr    The moon lies midway between Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Procyon, to the lower left.

25 Apr    The first-quarter moon lies between Procyon, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Jupiter, 4 finger-widths to the upper left.

USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 January 18 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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26 Jan    High in the south early this evening, the moon is between Hamal, a little more than 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Mira, the same distance to the lower left.

28 Jan    Tonight high in the south, the Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths above or to the upper right of the moon, and Aldebaran is the same distance to the left or upper left.

30 Jan    Mercury is at inferior conjunction, passing between the sun and Earth.

31 Jan    Procyon is 2 fist-widths below the moon. Look with binoculars to see second-magnitude Alhena less than 1 finger-width to the moon’s right.

USPS Star Calender for 7-13 December 30 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014.
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7 Dec    The moon lies between Orion and Gemini this evening. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 2 finger-widths below the moon.

8 Dec    The Gemini Twins rise with the moon, more than 2 hours after sunset. By midnight, they are high in the east with Procyon 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right.

9 Dec    Magnitude 0.5 Procyon and the moon rise more than 3 hours after sunset. Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right. Sirius is another 2 ½ fist-widths beyond Procyon.

10 Dec    The moon rises a little more than 4 hours after sunset, and Jupiter follows a half hour later. By midnight, they are still fairly low in the east. Procyon is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Regulus is 4 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left.

11 Dec    Jupiter rises 1 hour 20 minutes after sunset, followed by the moon 20 minutes later. Together with Regulus, they form a tight triangle low in the east late this evening and early tomorrow morning. Four fingers held at arm’s length will cover all three.

12 Dec    The waning gibbous moon rises late tonight, with Regulus and Jupiter directly above it. The moon is at apogee, 63.44 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

13 Dec    Right to left, Jupiter, Regulus and the moon line up high in the south in the pre-dawn sky. Spica is far to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 November 2 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014.
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9 Nov    The moon rises 2½ hours after sunset, followed shortly by the Gemini Twins to the lower left and Orion, the Mighty Hunter, to the lower right. They are high in the west before dawn tomorrow with the twins above the moon and the hunter below.

10 Nov    The moon rises 3½ hours after sunset, about the same time as Gemini and Orion.  The star 1 finger-width to the moon’s right or upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, part of the Gemini constellation.

11 Nov    Rising late, the moon is high in the east at midnight with the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the upper left and Procyon the same distance to the lower right.

13 Nov    The moon and Jupiter rise side by side shortly before midnight and are separated by less than 3 finger-widths.

14 Nov    Regulus, Jupiter and the last-quarter moon form a tight triangle high in the south at first light. Jupiter is 2 finger-widths above or to the upper left of the moon while Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left.

15 Nov    The moon and Regulus rise a few minutes apart shortly after midnight. They are high in the south at sunrise with Regulus less than 3 finger-widths above the moon. Jupiter is to the upper right. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 September 7 September 2014

Posted by amedalen in September 2014.
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14 Sep    Rising shortly before midnight, the moon is high in the south at dawn.

15 Sep    High in the south before dawn, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Orion is just below the moon.

16 Sep    Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right this morning.

17 Sep    Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right before dawn. The bright star 2 fist-widths below the moon is magnitude 0.5 Procyon.

18 Sep    The moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, the same distance to the upper right. Jupiter is 2 fist-widths to the lower left.

19 Sep    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s right or upper right this morning. Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

20 Sep    Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. Mercury and Spica pass within 0.55 degrees this evening. They set less than an hour after the sun, so you will need to look quickly as the sky darkens. The moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 August 10 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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17 Aug    This morning, Jupiter rises 5 minutes after Venus, less than a half a finger-width away. High in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon forms a line with 3 first-magnitude stars: magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse 2 fist-widths beyond Aldebaran, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon 2½ fist-widths farther, near the horizon.

18 Aug    Rising a minute later than Jupiter, Venus slides to Jupiter’s left this morning as they pass within 0.21 degrees. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above the moon.

19 Aug    Venus quickly falls away from Jupiter. Separated by a half a finger-width, Venus rises 6 minutes after Jupiter. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths below the moon this morning.

20 Aug    Before dawn Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Procyon is 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

21 Aug    The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left before dawn. Pollux is the brighter twin. The second-magnitude star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, also in Gemini. Low in the south early tonight, Mars and Saturn are 1½ fist-widths to the right of Scorpius’ head. Mars is 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower right and slides to the left during the next few nights.

22 Aug    The waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, a little farther to the upper left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

23 Aug    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, the moon, Venus and Jupiter are clustered within 4 finger-widths near the horizon at first light. Mars is directly below Saturn tonight. The third-magnitude star 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right is magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi, which represents the top of Libra’s scales.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 February 2 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014.
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10 Feb    Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is near the moon’s lower right. The moon’s brightness may overwhelm the star, so binoculars will help. Late tonight, Mars and Spica rise side by side, little more than 2 finger-widths apart. At magnitude 0.0, Mars is noticeably brighter than magnitude 1.2 Spica.

11 Feb    The first “star” to appear at dusk is magnitude -2.5 Jupiter, 1 fist-width above the moon high in the east. As the sky darkens, magnitude 1.5 Procyon becomes visible 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. Next, Pollux and then Castor emerge 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left. The equation of time is at minimum for the year, -14.25 minutes. Magnitude -4.6 Venus is at its brightest.

12 Feb    The moon is at apogee, 63.76 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

14 Feb    Regulus rises alongside the full moon, and the pair are high in the southeast by midnight with Regulus 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left.

15 Feb    The moon rises an hour after sunset. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the left near the horizon. At inferior conjunction, Mercury passes between the sun and Earth and will soon be visible in the pre-dawn sky.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 September 15 September 2013

Posted by amedalen in September 2013.
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22 Sep    Today marks the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, as the sun crosses the celestial equator into the Southern Hemisphere.

23 Sep    Using binoculars, look for the Pleiades Cluster 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this evening.

24 Sep    High in the southwest before dawn, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Aldebaran is less than 1 fist-width to the left.

25 Sep    In the south before dawn, bright magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. To the moon’s lower left, Orion the Mighty Hunter dominates the southern sky.

26 Sep    Rising shortly after midnight, the first-quarter moon is high in the south before dawn, midway between Jupiter to the lower left and Aldebaran to the upper right. The brightest star in Orion, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, is 1 fist-width below the moon.

27 Sep    Magnitude 1.9 Alhena, in the constellation Gemini, is 1 finger-width below the moon in the pre-dawn sky. The Twins, Pollux and Castor, are nearly 2 fist-widths to the left. Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii (251,000 miles) away. Last-quarter moon at 0355 UT

28 Sep    The moon is between magnitude –2.2 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the upper left, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 April 7 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in April 2013.
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14 Apr    The waxing crescent moon is less than 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s left or upper left at dusk.

15 Apr    Three prominent constellations surround the moon tonight: Orion to the lower left, Gemini to the upper left and Taurus to the lower right. Home to the navigational star Capella, the lesser-known constellation Auriga, the Charioteer, is to the moon’s upper right. The moon is at apogee, 63.48 Earth-radii, or 405,000 kilometers, away. The equation of time is zero, which means sundial (apparent solar) time and mean solar time are the same.

16 Apr    Gemini’s brightest stars, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths above the moon tonight. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 1 finger-width below the moon. Less than a third of the moon’s surface is illuminated

17 Apr    The waxing crescent moon lies midway between magnitude 1.2 Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, to the lower left.

18 Apr    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the first-quarter moon’s lower right, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

20 Apr    Regulus is less than 3 finger-widths above or to the upper left of the waxing gibbous moon, high in the south at dusk. About two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.