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USPS Calendar for 24-30 May 17 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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24 May    Regulus is 2 finger-widths above the moon this evening, and Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the right.

25 May    Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

26 May    High in the south at dusk, the moon lies between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the right or upper right, and Spica, 3 fist-widths to the left or lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.38 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

28 May    Spica is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this evening. Venus sweeps past Pollux and Castor, the Gemini Twins, over the next few nights. Tonight Venus is 1 finger-width to Pollux’s lower left.

29 May    Spica is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right or lower right.

30 May    The moon lies between Spica, 1½ fist-widths to the upper right, and Saturn, 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Venus is a little higher this evening to Pollux’s lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 10-16 May 3 May 2015

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10 May    Look to the lower left of the Big Dipper for the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, in the west. Brilliant Venus is 2 fist-widths to the Twins’ lower right. You should be able to spot two bright stars to Venus’ left. Alhena is the brighter of the two. How many stars can you see between Alhena and Pollux? Now look again with binoculars.

12 May    This evening, Jupiter is high in the southwest. Regulus, in the constellation Leo, the Lion, is 1½ fist-widths to Regulus’ left. Five fist-widths beyond Regulus is Spica, in the constellation Virgo. Saturn is nearly 4 fist-widths to Spica’s lower right, near the horizon in the southeast.

13 May    To find the Little Dipper, follow the pointer stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s handle 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Polaris. Polaris is at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. Kochab, 1½ fist-widths to Polaris’ upper right, is one of the Little Dipper’s corners. Another corner is Pherkad, 2 finger-widths to Kochab’s right or lower right. You may need binoculars to see the other stars of the dipper and handle.

15 May    The moon is at perigee, 57.39 Earth-radii (366,000 kilometers) away.

16 May    Only two days before new, the moon rises less than an hour before the sun and is no more than a thin sliver, low in the east before dawn.

 

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 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 2-8 February 26 January 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014.
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2 Feb     Low in the west at dusk, the thin waxing crescent moon sets about four hours after the sun. With the moon less than 10 percent illuminated, tonight is good for stargazing. Magnitude –2.6 Jupiter dominates the eastern sky, outshining its closest neighbors, the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, 1 fist-width to the lower left.

3 Feb    The moon sets a little later tonight, but we still have prime early evening stargazing. Orion lies on its side to Jupiter’s right. Look to the lower right of Orion’s belt to see the Orion Nebula, a birthplace of stars. To the naked eye, the Nebula appears as a fuzzy cloud, but it’s much clearer with binoculars.

4 Feb     The waxing crescent moon sits high in the west at dusk. Try to spot second-magnitude star magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos 3 fist-widths to the lower left. The brightest object in the area, it should be easy to find.

6 Feb     The first-quarter moon is high in the southeast at dusk.

7 Feb     The moon lies midway between the Pleiades, 3 finger-widths to the upper right, and Aldebaran, the same distance to the left.

8 Feb     The waxing gibbous moon moves to Aldebaran’s left tonight. Jupiter is 2½ fist-widths farther left, and Orion is directly below the moon, which is two-thirds illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 29 December-4 January 22 December 2013

Posted by amedalen in December 2013, January 2014.
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29 Dec    The moon is 4 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left. Less than 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

1 Jan    Rising a few minutes after sunset, Jupiter is high in the east by midevening. The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are less than 1 fist-width to the left, and Orion is about 3 fist-widths to the right. The bright star 2 fist-widths to the lower right is magnitude 0.5 Procyon. The new moon, only 9.8 hours old, is at perigee, 56.02 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. Check your tide tables.

2 Jan    Occurring a day after the new moon, the Quadrantids meteor shower should be above average and can be viewed over five nights. At its peak from the evening of 2 Jan. to the morning of 3 Jan, you may see 60-200 meteors per hour. For best viewing, choose a dark location after midnight. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky but will radiate from the constellation Boötes, which rises above the eastern horizon shortly after midnight. This is the only one of the three dominant meteor showers (Quadrantids, Perseids and Geminids) on a moonless night.

4 Jan    At perihelion, Earth makes its closest approach to the sun for the year at 0.98333 AU, or about 91.4 million miles, away. An astronomical unit (92,955,807.3 miles) is the average distance from Earth to the sun.

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 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 17-23 February 10 February 2013

Posted by amedalen in February 2013.
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17 Feb    The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the right or upper right of the first-quarter moon high in the southwest early tonight. Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the upper left.

18 Feb    The waxing gibbous moon has moved to Jupiter’s left tonight, and Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

19 Feb    Orion is below the moon this evening. The second brightest star, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, is 1 fist-width below or to the lower left of the moon. Two-and-a-half fist-widths beyond Betelgeuse lies magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, in the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. In myth, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs. The moon is at apogee, 63.42 earth-radii or 404,000 kilometers away.

20 Feb    The bright star 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left tonight is magnitude 1.9 Alhena in the constellation Gemini, the Twins.  Pollux and Castor, the Twins, are nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Nearly 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

21 Feb    The moon lies midway between the Gemini Twins, to the upper left, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, below.

22 Feb    Rising 3 hours before sunset, the moon, nearly 90 percent illuminated, is visible before sunset. As daylight fades, watch as stars appear near the moon. The first to emerge should be the brightest, magnitude -1.59 Sirius, which is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. The next should be magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

23 Feb    Tonight, the moon is between Regulus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right. The Big Dipper stands on its handle, far to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 September 2 September 2012

Posted by amedalen in September 2012.
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9 Sep    In the southeast before dawn, the moon lines up between Jupiter, a little more than 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Venus, 3½ fist-widths to the lower left. Orion is to the lower right, and magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2½ fist widths to the upper left.

10 Sep    Now closer to Venus, the moon is midway between Venus and Jupiter. Magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the right, and the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are the same distance to the left or lower left. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 2 fist-widths directly below the moon.

11 Sep    The waning crescent moon closes in on Venus. This morning it is little more than 1 fist-width above the planet. Procyon is to the lower right, and the Gemini Twins are to the upper left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the far left.

12 Sep    The moon and Venus rise side by side nearly four hours before the sun. Venus is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s left. Less than 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

13 Sep    Only 10 percent illuminated, the waning crescent moon rises less than 3 hours before the sun.

14 Sep    Look to the right of the sun as it dips below the horizon to see the Big Dipper standing with its handle slightly elevated. Follow the dipper’s arc to the lower left to magnitude 0.2 Arcturus.