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USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 March 2 March 2014

Posted by amedalen in March 2014.
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9 Mar    High in the south at dusk, the moon is between Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the upper left, and Betelgeuse, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right. Daylight saving time begins this morning at 0200. The clock hour of 0200-0300 is lost as we turn our clocks forward. Don’t worry; we’ll get the hour back on 2 Nov. when we turn our clocks back at 0200.

10 Mar    High in the southeast after sunset, the waxing gibbous moon is between Jupiter, 4 finger-widths above, and Procyon, a little more than 1 fist-width below. The trio moves west and is high in the west by midnight, with Jupiter to the lower right and Procyon to the lower left.

11 Mar    The moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

12 Mar    Just after sunset, the waxing gibbous moon is high in the southeast midway between Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus, the same distance to the lower left. As the evening passes, Procyon moves to the right and then lower right of the moon and Regulus moves to the left and then upper left.

13 Mar    Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left in the early evening. Later this evening Regulus moves to the left and then upper left by midnight.

14 Mar    Mercury reaches its greatest elongation,  27.6 degrees west, rising more than an hour before the sun. Regulus is 4 finger-widths above the moon tonight. More than 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The only part not shining is the thin sliver facing east. 

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 12-18 January 5 January 2014

Posted by amedalen in January 2014.
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13 Jan    Bright lights surround the waxing gibbous moon tonight. The brightest, magnitude –2.7 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left, magnitude 0.2 Capella is 3 fist-widths to the upper left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the lower right, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 fist-widths to the upper right.

14 Jan    Only two days from full, the moon stands a little more than 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower right this evening.

15 Jan    Tonight, the moon is 1 fist-width below Jupiter and midway between magnitude 0.5 Procyon, one fist-width to the lower right, and magnitude 1.2 Pollux, the same distance to the upper left.

16 Jan    The moon is at apogee, 63.81 Earth-radii (more than 406,000 kilometers) away.

18 Jan    The moon rises less than two hours after sunset, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus can be found 2 finger-widths to its upper left. Five fist-widths to the left, the Big Dipper stands on its handle just above the horizon.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 December 8 December 2013

Posted by amedalen in December 2013.
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15 Dec    Aldebaran is 1 finger-width below the moon tonight.

17 Dec    The last full moon of the year rises a half-hour after sunset, followed less than an hour later by Jupiter to the lower left. Orion is to the right.

18 Dec    This evening, Jupiter and the moon rise side by side an hour and a half after sunset.

19 Dec    Jupiter stands directly above the moon in the early evening. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. The moon is at apogee, 63.70 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

21 Dec    Winter arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 1711 UT as the sun reaches its farthest point south of the celestial equator.

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 20-26 October 13 October 2013

Posted by amedalen in October 2013.
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20 Oct    The waning gibbous moon rises alongside the Pleiades Cluster a little more than an hour after sunset. By midnight, they are high in the east with the Seven Sisters 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

21 Oct    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths below the moon tonight, and the Seven Sisters are 1 fist-width above, which is a good time to take a closer look at the Pleiades Cluster.

23 Oct    The moon and Orion rise 3½ hours after sunset and are near the eastern horizon at midnight.

24 Oct    The moon and Orion are high in the south before first light. Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. This evening, the moon rises an hour before midnight, followed by Jupiter soon thereafter.

25 Oct    Before dawn, look for Jupiter 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left. The Gemini Twins are above Jupiter. The moon is at apogee, 63.43 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

26 Oct    The moon is 1 fist-width to Jupiter’s lower left in the east with magnitude 0.5 Procyon 1 fist-width below.

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 25-31 August 18 August 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013.
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26 Aug    Rising less than an hour before midnight, the moon is 1 fist-width to the right of the Pleiades Cluster. Nearly 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

27 Aug    The waning gibbous moon is high in the south before first light with the Pleiades 4 finger-widths to the upper left.

28 Aug    High in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon (0935 UT) lies between the Pleiades, 4 finger-widths to the upper right, and Aldebaran, 2 finger-widths to the lower left. Orion, the Mighty Hunter, is beyond Aldebaran.

30 Aug    The moon is at apogee, 62.48 Earth-radii (252,000 miles) away.

31 Aug    Magnitude –2.0 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the left of the waning crescent moon in the pre-dawn sky. The Gemini Twins are 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 July-3 August 21 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013, July 2013.
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28 Jul    High in the south at first light, the waning gibbous moon is between Alpheratz, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 2.0 Mira, 2 fist-widths to the lower left in the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster.

29 Jul    Rising around midnight, the last-quarter moon (1743 UT) is high in the southwest before dawn tomorrow.

30 Jul    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, magnitude 0.2 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the sun and should be visible before the sky brightens. With your binoculars, try spotting magnitude 1.6 Mars 3 finger-widths above Mercury and magnitude –1.9 Jupiter 1½ finger-widths to Mars’ upper right.

31 Jul    High in the east before dawn, look for the Pleiades Cluster 3 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s upper left. The moon is about one-third illuminated.

1 Aug    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right before dawn.

3 Aug    Over the next few days, the waning crescent moon passes by three planets in the pre-dawn sky. This morning look for magnitude –1.9 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left or lower left, and magnitude 1.6 Mars, 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left. About 10 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (252,000 miles) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 July 30 June 2013

Posted by amedalen in July 2013.
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7 Jul    The moon is at apogee, 63.73 Earth-radii (253,000 miles) away.

8 Jul    New moon at 0714 UT

9 Jul    Mercury passes between Earth and the sun at inferior conjunction and will soon be visible in the morning sky.

11 Jul    Look low in the west at dusk to see magnitude 1.3 Regulus 3 finger-widths to the waxing crescent moon’s upper right and magnitude –3.9 Venus 1½ fist widths to the right. The moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

13 Jul    In the early evening, the Big Dipper stands high in the north with its handle pointing upward. Follow the pointer stars at the bucket end 3 fist-widths to the North Star, magnitude 2.1 Polaris. Continue along that line to Cassiopeia, the Lazy W constellation.