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USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 July 14 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013.
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21 Jul    Magnitude –3.9 Venus passes within ½ finger-width of magnitude 1.3 Regulus tonight. Low in the west at twilight, the stars set 1½ hours after the sun. The moon is at perigee, 56.2 Earth-radii away (222,000 miles) away.

22 Jul    Low in the east before dawn, magnitude 1.6 Mars passes less than 1 degree from magnitude 1.9 Jupiter. Look quickly, because the sun rises less than 2 hours after the planets, which will soon be lost in the glare. Full moon at 1815 UT

23 Jul    Only a few hours past full, the moon is low in the west before dawn and sets an hour after sunrise. Tonight it rises a half hour after sunset.

25 Jul    The moon rises a couple of hours after sunset. Three days past full, it’s about 90 percent illuminated.

26 Jul    Before dawn, the bright star 3 fist-widths below the moon in the southwest is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut. The same distance above the moon sits magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz in the constellation Andromeda, the Chained Princess, daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus.

USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 October 14 October 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012.
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21 Oct    At evening twilight, magnitude 0.9 Altair, in the Summer Triangle, is 2½ fist-widths above the waxing gibbous moon low in the south. The triangle’s other stars are magnitude 0.1 Vega, 3 fist-widths to Altair’s upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Deneb, 2 fist-widths to Vega’s upper left or nearly overhead.

22 Oct    In the south at sunset, magnitude 0.9 Altair—in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle—is 2½ fist-widths to the first-quarter moon’s upper right. In Greek mythology, the eagle Aquila carried Zeus’ thunderbolts.

23 Oct    High in the south at sunset, the waxing crescent moon lies between two third-magnitude stars, so get out your binoculars. Magnitude 3.1 Sadalsuud in Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is 2 finger-widths above the moon, and magnitude 3.0 Deneb Algedi—in the constellation Capricornus, the Sea Goat—is little more than 3 finger-widths below the moon.

25 Oct    Saturn, in conjunction with the sun, passes behind it.

26 Oct    Mercury reaches its greatest elongation east, 24.1 degrees from the sun. Look quickly at dusk to spy Mercury before it slips below the western horizon.

27 Oct    Rising less than an hour before sunset, the nearly full moon is high in the east as the stars appear. Directly above the moon, the Great Square of Pegasus includes three stars from the constellation Pegasus and one borrowed from neighboring Andromeda. The nearest star of the square is magnitude 2.9 Algenib, 1 fist-width above the moon. Magnitude 2.6 Markab is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 2.6 Scheat is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left. Andromeda’s magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, completes the square.

USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 August 29 July 2012

Posted by amedalen in August 2012.
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5 Aug    Rising late, the waning gibbous moon is high in the southwest before dawn. Nearly 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

6 Aug    High in the southwest before dawn, the bright star 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right is magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz in the constellation Andromeda.

8 Aug    High in the south before dawn, the two stars to the moon’s upper left are magnitude 2.7 Sheratan and magnitude 2.2 Hamal, both in the constellation Aries. Jupiter is far to the lower left, and Venus lies beyond Jupiter.

10 Aug    The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left, high in the southeast before first light. Magnitude -2.2 Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower right. The moon is at apogee, 63.36 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

11 Aug    High in the east before dawn, Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left, and Aldebaran is farther below or to the lower right. Beyond Aldebaran, Orion reclines close to the horizon. About a third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.