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USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 March 11 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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8 Mar    The bright star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right is Spica, normally found by beginning with the Big Dipper, arcing to Arcturus and speeding on to Spica. Working backward from Spica, look 3 fist-widths to the upper left to Arcturus in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Measure another 3 fist-widths to Arcturus’ upper left to the last star in the dipper’s handle, Alkaid. The Big Dipper’s bowl is to the upper left. Can you find Polaris? How about Cassiopeia? Daylight saving time begins at 0200. Spring forward.

10 Mar    Tonight the moon rises just after midnight. It is low in the south before first light, with Saturn 1 fist-width to the left.

12 Mar    Just before dawn, Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right, and Antares is 4 finger-widths to its lower left.

14 Mar  The moon is above the dome of the Teapot in the constellation Sagittarius.

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USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 May 28 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in May 2013.
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5 May    Leo, the Lion, dominates the southern sky. Its brightest star, magnitude 1.3 Regulus, is easy to spot in the south. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 4 fist-widths to Regulus’ lower right. Magnitude 2.2 Alphard, in the constellation Hydra, the Sea Serpent, is 2 fist-widths below Regulus. Magnitude 1.2 Spica lies far to the lower left of Regulus. Noticeably brighter, Saturn is just beyond Spica.

6 May    The bright star halfway up from the eastern horizon is magnitude 0.2 Arcturus, in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Arcturus comes from the Greek, meaning “guardian of the bear.”

7 May    In the early evening, the Big Dipper is upside down high overhead with its handle extending to the right.

9 May    For the best view of today’s annular solar eclipse, you will have to go to Australia or New Guinea. Those in Hawaii will see a partial eclipse. New moon at 0028 UT

10 May    The moon sets less than an hour after the sun but if you have a clear view of the western horizon, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the thin waxing crescent moon just to the lower left of Venus.

USPS Star Calendar for 31 October to 6 November 24 October 2010

Posted by amedalen in November 2010, October 2010.
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31 Oct
Happy Halloween.

1 Nov
Magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 4 finger-widths above the thin waning crescent moon high in the southeast before dawn. Today is All Saints’ Day.

2 Nov
The moon is midway between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 0.9 Saturn, 2 fist-widths to the lower left. The star less than 1 finger-width above Saturn is magnitude 2.9 Porrima. Use binoculars.

3 Nov
Low in the east before first light, magnitude 0.9 Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, and magnitude 1.2 Spica is directly below Saturn close to the horizon. Magnitude -4.1 Venus is 3 finger-widths below Spica, barely above the horizon depending on your latitude. Try to catch a glimpse before the sky brightens. Venus climbs higher as the days pass. The moon is at perigee, 57.16 Earth-radii away. Use binoculars.

4 Nov
A sliver of moon is visible low in the east before dawn. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left, magnitude 0.9 Saturn is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 0.2 Arcturus, in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman, is 3 fist-widths to Spica’s upper left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle far to the upper left. Use binoculars.

6 Nov
New moon at 0452 UT