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USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 May 10 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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18 May    Less than 24 hours past new. the moon sets not quite an hour after the sun and will be hard to spot low in the west at dusk. Look for Aldebaran ½ finger-width to the moon’s upper left. Mercury is nearly 4 finger-widths to the upper right.

20 May    The moon lies midway between Venus, 1 fist-width above, and Betelgeuse, below or to the lower left.

21 May    Low in the west at dusk, Venus is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Procyon is 1 fist-width to the left or lower left.

22 May    The moon lies in the middle of a triangle formed by Venus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right, Procyon, 1 fist-width below, and Jupiter, 1½ fist-widths to the upper left. Saturn reaches opposition at 2200 EDT. Lining up opposite the sun, it rises around sunset and sets around sunrise.

23 May    Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right tonight.

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USPS Star Calendar for 19-25 April 12 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015.
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19 Apr    At dusk, Mars is less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Mercury is less than 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower right.

21 Apr    Mercury is less than a finger-width to Mars’ lower left, low in the west this evening. The moon, Venus and Aldebaran form a tight triangle early tonight, with Venus 4 finger-widths to the moon’s right or upper right. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. Orion is 1 fist-width to the left.

22 Apr    Mercury is less than 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right.

23 Apr    At dusk, Alhena is 1 finger-width below the moon. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths beyond Alhena. Pollux is about 1½ fist-widths above the moon.

24 Apr    The moon lies midway between Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Procyon, to the lower left.

25 Apr    The first-quarter moon lies between Procyon, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Jupiter, 4 finger-widths to the upper left.

USPS Star Calendar for 30 November-6 December 23 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014, November 2014.
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30 Nov    High in the southeast at dusk, the waxing gibbous moon is 2 fist-widths above a second-magnitude star, magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos. Can you see the fourth-magnitude star midway between them? You may need binoculars to make out magnitude 3.8 iota Ceti.

2 Dec    Tonight look for magnitude 2.0 Mira, 1½ fist-widths below the moon.

3 Dec    The moon is surrounded by two second-magnitude and two third-magnitude stars this evening. The brightest, magnitude 2.0 Mira is 1½ fist-widths to the lower right.  Next in brightness, magnitude 2.2 Hamal is about the same distance to the upper left. Two finger-widths to Hamal’s right is magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Finally, magnitude 2.8 Menkar is below and slightly right of the moon. You will need binoculars to get the most out of this viewing opportunity.

4 Dec    The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left this evening. Aldebaran is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left. The moon is more than 90 percent illuminated.

5 Dec    The nearly full moon rises in the middle of the constellation Taurus, the Bull, shortly before sunset. The brightest star, Aldebaran, is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left at dusk. Passing within less than 1 degree, the moon grows closer to Aldebaran as the evening passes. At midnight, the pair stands high in the south with Aldebaran to the moon’s lower right.

6 Dec    By mid-evening the full moon is high in the east surrounded by several first-magnitude stars. Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the upper right. Capella is nearly 3 fist-widths to the upper left. Far below Capella is Pollux, the brighter of the Gemini Twins. Orion is to the lower right of the moon with its two first-magnitude stars, Betelgeuse 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Rigel at the opposite corner, beyond the belt.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 September 7 September 2014

Posted by amedalen in September 2014.
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14 Sep    Rising shortly before midnight, the moon is high in the south at dawn.

15 Sep    High in the south before dawn, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Orion is just below the moon.

16 Sep    Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right this morning.

17 Sep    Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right before dawn. The bright star 2 fist-widths below the moon is magnitude 0.5 Procyon.

18 Sep    The moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, the same distance to the upper right. Jupiter is 2 fist-widths to the lower left.

19 Sep    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the moon’s right or upper right this morning. Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

20 Sep    Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. Mercury and Spica pass within 0.55 degrees this evening. They set less than an hour after the sun, so you will need to look quickly as the sky darkens. The moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 August 10 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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17 Aug    This morning, Jupiter rises 5 minutes after Venus, less than a half a finger-width away. High in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon forms a line with 3 first-magnitude stars: magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse 2 fist-widths beyond Aldebaran, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon 2½ fist-widths farther, near the horizon.

18 Aug    Rising a minute later than Jupiter, Venus slides to Jupiter’s left this morning as they pass within 0.21 degrees. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above the moon.

19 Aug    Venus quickly falls away from Jupiter. Separated by a half a finger-width, Venus rises 6 minutes after Jupiter. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths below the moon this morning.

20 Aug    Before dawn Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Procyon is 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

21 Aug    The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left before dawn. Pollux is the brighter twin. The second-magnitude star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, also in Gemini. Low in the south early tonight, Mars and Saturn are 1½ fist-widths to the right of Scorpius’ head. Mars is 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower right and slides to the left during the next few nights.

22 Aug    The waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, a little farther to the upper left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

23 Aug    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, the moon, Venus and Jupiter are clustered within 4 finger-widths near the horizon at first light. Mars is directly below Saturn tonight. The third-magnitude star 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right is magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi, which represents the top of Libra’s scales.

USPS Star Calendar for 27 April-3 May 20 April 2014

Posted by amedalen in April 2014, May 2014.
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29 Apr    An annular (ring) eclipse of the sun occurs today. Unfortunately, the full eclipse will only be visible in the uninhabited region of Wilkes Land in Antarctica.

1 May    Low in the west at sunset, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. Only 2 days past new, the moon is less than 5 percent illuminated.

2 May    The thin waxing crescent moon lies between Aldebaran, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right, and Jupiter, about 2 fist-widths to the upper left. Orion is hard to miss to the lower left. The moon is about 10 percent illuminated.

3 May    Look for Betelgeuse 1½ fist widths below the moon tonight and Jupiter about 4 finger-widths above. The bright star 1 fist-width above Jupiter is magnitude 1.2 Pollux, the brightest star in Gemini.

USPS Star Calendar for 30 March-5 April 23 March 2014

Posted by amedalen in April 2014, March 2014.
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30 Mar    Look for Jupiter and Mars in the evening sky. Jupiter is high in the south at dusk. Mars rises above the horizon nearly an hour after sunset. By midnight, Jupiter has slipped west and Mars is high in the southeast.

3 Apr    High in the west at sunset, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the lower right. Orion is 2½ fist-widths to the left. Only three days past new, the moon is 10 percent illuminated.

4 Apr    The moon sits between Aldebaran, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Jupiter, a little more than 2 fist-widths to the upper left. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the left.

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 2-8 March 23 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in March 2014.
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3 Mar    The waxing crescent moon sets three hours after the sun. Less than 10 percent illuminated, the moon is surrounded by three second-magnitude stars: Alpheratz, 2½ fist-widths to the right; Mira, 2 fist-widths to the upper left; and Hamal, 2 fist-widths above.

4 Mar    Tonight the moon lies between Mira and Hamal. If you are far away from city lights, you should be able to spot the third-magnitude star 2 finger-widths below Hamal, magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Both stars are in the constellation Aries, the Ram.

6 Mar    In the early evening, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the west. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

7 Mar    As the sky darkens and the stars become visible, look for Aldebaran, 1 finger-width below the moon high in the southwest at sunset.

8 Mar    Several first-magnitude stars and a planet surround the moon high in the south at sunset: Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the lower left; magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the lower right; magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2½ fist-widths to the upper right; and magnitude –2.4 Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left.

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.