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USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 February 10 February 2013

Posted by amedalen in February 2013.
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17 Feb    The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the right or upper right of the first-quarter moon high in the southwest early tonight. Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the upper left.

18 Feb    The waxing gibbous moon has moved to Jupiter’s left tonight, and Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

19 Feb    Orion is below the moon this evening. The second brightest star, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, is 1 fist-width below or to the lower left of the moon. Two-and-a-half fist-widths beyond Betelgeuse lies magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, in the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. In myth, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs. The moon is at apogee, 63.42 earth-radii or 404,000 kilometers away.

20 Feb    The bright star 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left tonight is magnitude 1.9 Alhena in the constellation Gemini, the Twins.  Pollux and Castor, the Twins, are nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Nearly 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

21 Feb    The moon lies midway between the Gemini Twins, to the upper left, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, below.

22 Feb    Rising 3 hours before sunset, the moon, nearly 90 percent illuminated, is visible before sunset. As daylight fades, watch as stars appear near the moon. The first to emerge should be the brightest, magnitude -1.59 Sirius, which is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. The next should be magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

23 Feb    Tonight, the moon is between Regulus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right. The Big Dipper stands on its handle, far to the left.

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.

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