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USPS Star Calendar for 30 September-6 October 23 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012, September 2012.
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1 Oct    Rising less than an hour after sunset, the moon is high in the east mid-evening, with the constellation Aries, the Ram, to its left. Aries’ two brightest stars are magnitude 2.2 Hamal, 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 2.7 Sheratan, which is 2 finger-widths to Hamal’s right.

3 Oct    Look to the west before dawn as magnitude -4.1 Venus passes within 0.15 degrees of magnitude 1.3 Regulus, making it the year’s closest appulse of a planet with a first-magnitude star. Don’t miss this viewing opportunity.

4 Oct    The Pleiades Cluster is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right this morning. After its close approach to Regulus yesterday, Venus begins to retrograde (move westward) and falls away quickly during the coming weeks.

5 Oct    High in the southwest before dawn, magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is the same distance to the lower left. Orion is nearly 2 fist-widths to the lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.53 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

6 Oct    Before first light high in the south, Jupiter is less than 4 finger-widths to the waning gibbous moon’s lower right, and Aldebaran is the same distance below Jupiter. Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, Orion’s brightest star, is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left.

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USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 September 28 August 2011

Posted by amedalen in September 2011.
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4 Sep    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight. First-quarter moon at 1739 UT

5 Sep    Tonight, the waxing gibbous moon is between Sagittarius and Scorpius in the south.

6 Sep    Sagittarius is to the moon’s lower right tonight. About two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

8 Sep    Magnitude 0.9 Altair is the bright star 2.5 fist-widths above the moon tonight.

9 Sep    Mercury and Regulus rise nearly 1.5 hours before the sun. Magnitude 0.9 Mercury is 0.67 degrees (less than half the width of your index finger held at arm’s length) to the left of magnitude 1.4 Regulus. This is the year’s closest planet-first magnitude star appulse.

USPS Star Calendar for 25 to 31 July 18 July 2010

Posted by amedalen in July 2010.
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25 Jul
Full Thunder Moon at 0136 UT tomorrow morning, or 2136 EDT tonight

27 Jul
Tonight, magnitude 0.1 Mercury passes within 0.29 degree of magnitude 1.3 Regulus, making this the year’s closest planet-first magnitude star appulse. They set more than an hour after sunset, so you will have a good opportunity to see this event.

28 Jul
Low in the west at sunset, magnitude 1.5 Mars is 1 finger-width below magnitude 1.1 Saturn, and magnitude -4.2 Venus is 4 finger-widths to the lower right. The moon is at apogee, 63.65 Earth-radii away.

30 Jul
Jupiter rises less than a half-hour after the moon late this evening.

31 Jul
High in the south before dawn, Jupiter is 3 finger-widths below the moon. Tonight, Mars and Saturn pass within 1 finger-width, with magnitude 1.5 Mars to the lower left of magnitude 1.1 Saturn.