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USPS Star Calendar for 28 April-4 May 21 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in April 2013, May 2013.
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28 Apr    Before first light, look for Antares 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right low in the southwest. Only three days past full, the moon is more than 90 percent illuminated.

1 May    May Day, related to the Celtic festival Beltane, features bonfires and maypoles.

2 May    Low in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon is 2½ fist-widths below or to the lower left of bright magnitude 0.9 Altair.

4 May    Get out and enjoy the free light show during the next few moonless nights. Orion sets shortly after sunset, leaving Gemini in the west. Look 3 fist-widths to Gemini’s lower right to see magnitude 0.2 Capella, in the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer.

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.

USPS Star Calendar for 20-26 January 13 January 2013

Posted by amedalen in January 2013.
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20 Jan    Late this evening, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the waxing gibbous moon’s upper left high in the south. Magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the left.

21 Jan    The moon passes within less than 1 degree of Jupiter tonight.

22 Jan    Orion stands below the moon tonight. About 80 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.55 earth-radii or 405,000 kilometers away.

23 Jan    Notable constellations surround the moon this evening: Orion to the lower right, Gemini to the left or lower left, Taurus to the right or upper right, and Auriga to the upper left or above. Home to Capella, Auriga, the Charioteer, is often depicted carrying a goat and a couple of kids.

24 Jan    The moon is more than 90 percent illuminated tonight. The Gemini Twins are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1½ fist-widths below the moon.

25 Jan    The moon is midway between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and the Gemini Twins, to the upper left.

26 Jan    Rising within a few minutes of sunset and setting shortly before sunrise, tonight’s full moon is known as the Old Moon. Procyon is 1½ fist widths to the moon’s right or upper right. The Gemini Twins are nearly 2 fist-widths above the moon, and Regulus is 2 fist-widths to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 May 24 April 2011

Posted by amedalen in May 2011.
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1 May    One fist-width to the moon’s right, Venus and Mars rise an hour before the sun, so you can catch a glimpse before sunrise. With sharp eyes, you might be able to see magnitude -3.9 Venus well after first light. Less than 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

3 May    New moon at 0651 UT

5 May    The waxing crescent moon sets 3 hours after the sun. Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 4 finger-widths below the moon, and Orion is to its lower left. Only 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Fifty years ago today, Alan Shepard became the first American in space when he made a 15-minute flight aboard Mercury 7.

6 May    The bright star 2.5 fist-widths to the moon’s right or upper right this evening is magnitude 0.2 Capella, in the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer.

7 May    High in the west at sunset, the moon is between magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 2 fists-widths to the left, and magnitude 0.2 Capella, 3 fist-widths to the right. The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1.5 fist-widths above the moon. Fifteen percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.