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USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 June 15 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in June 2014.
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23 Jun    The moon rises 2½ hours before the sun this morning and is followed 40 minutes later by magnitude -3.9 Venus about 1 fist-width to the lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to Venus’ upper left.

24 Jun    The moon and Venus rise together this morning, less than 2 hours before the sun. The moon is only 1 finger-width to Venus’ lower right. The moon is only 10 percent illuminated.

25 Jun    The moon rises just before the sun for the next few days, giving us dark evenings for stargazing. Let’s look at some of the night sky’s less obvious features. Start in the west with the constellation Leo, the Lion, whose brightest star, magnitude 1.3 Regulus, is easy to spot. How many of the other stars can you see with your  binoculars? Most are third magnitude and dimmer except for one second-magnitude star, magnitude 2.2 Denebola, 2½ fist-widths to Regulus’ upper left.

26 Jun    Look high overhead tonight. Find Arcturus by following the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle. Arcturus is the brightest star of the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Many believe that Boötes looks more like a kite. None of the stars are brighter than third magnitude.

27 Jun    Turning to the south, Scorpius, the Scorpion, dominates the area near the horizon. Magnitude 1.1 Antares is its only first-magnitude star.

28 Jun    Low in the west after sunset, magnitude -1.8 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the very thin moon’s upper right. The moon sets less than an hour after the sun.

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USPS Star Calendar for 2-8 June 26 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013.
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3 Jun    The waning crescent moon rises 3 hours before the sun. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

4 Jun    The moon spends the next few evenings out of view, leaving us with dark skies for stargazing. In the east, Gemini is closer to the horizon. Regulus and the constellation Leo have taken over the western sky. Leo’s second brightest star, magnitude 2.2 Denebola, is 2½ fist-widths to Regulus’ upper left.

5 Jun    In the south, midway up from the horizon, two bright bodies grab our attention. The brighter is Saturn. At magnitude 0.4, it outshines magnitude 1.2 Spica, 1 fist-width to the right. Magnitude 0.2 Arcturus is high above, and magnitude 1.1 Antares is far to the lower left.

6 Jun    The Summer Triangle begins to climb in the eastern sky. Magnitude 0.1 Vega is halfway up from the horizon, a little left of east, magnitude 1.3 Deneb is 2½ fist-widths to the lower left, and 4 fist-widths to the lower right, magnitude 0.9 Altair completes the triangle. Altair rises nearly an hour after sunset, so the best view will be around midnight when the triangle is high in the east.

7 Jun    In early evening, the Big Dipper is high in the north with its handle pointing up. Find Polaris by following a line to the lower right from the pointer stars at the far end of the dipper. Polaris is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Now find the brightest star of the Little Dipper, magnitude 2.2 Kochab, 1½ fist widths above or to the upper right of Polaris, depending on when you are looking.

8 Jun    New moon at 1556 UT 

USPS Star Calendar for 13 to 19 June 6 June 2010

Posted by amedalen in June 2010.
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14 Jun
The waxing crescent moon sets a little more than 2 hours after the sun. Low in the west at dusk, brilliant magnitude –4.0 Venus is just 2 finger-widths above or to the upper right of the moon. The Gemini Twins are 1 fist-width to the right. Use binoculars.

15 Jun
As the sky darkens this evening, look for Venus 1 fist-width to the moon’s right or lower right. The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, lie just beyond Venus. Magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left and magnitude 1.2 Mars is in a straight line 2 finger-widths beyond Regulus. Even though they are similar in brightness, Mars is easy to distinguish from Regulus because of its redness. Continuing the line beyond Mars another 2½ fist-widths brings us to magnitude 1.0 Saturn. The moon is at perigee, 57.37 earth-radii away.

16 Jun
In the west an hour after sunset, the moon is 2½ fist-widths above the horizon. Regulus is a little more than 2 finger-widths above or to the upper right, and Mars is 4 finger-widths to the upper left. With your binoculars, you should have no trouble spotting magnitude 3.9 rho Leonis, less than 1 finger-width to Mars’ left. As long as you have your binoculars out, look for a dim star one-half finger-width to the moon’s upper left. This is magnitude 4.9 pi Leonis.

On this day in 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, spending 3 days in orbit aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 6.

17 Jun
Mars and Regulus are about 1 fist-width to the moon’s right tonight. The star 2 fist-widths above the moon is magnitude 2.2 Denebola. Saturn is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

18 Jun
Tonight, Saturn is 4 finger-widths above the moon, and Mars and Regulus are a little more than 2 fist-widths to the right.

19 Jun
Saturn is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, while Spica is 1 fist-width to the upper left this evening. The moon is at first quarter at 0430 UT.