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USPS Star Calendar for 20-26 April 13 April 2014

Posted by amedalen in April 2014.
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20 Apr    Easter Sunday is intended to be the Sunday after the full moon on or after the vernal equinox, assuming the equinox is on 21 March. (It can actually occur between 19-21 March.) The date assumed for the full moon also may not coincide with the astronomical date. As a result, the date of Easter is determined by a formula, Golden Numbers and Epacts, and may fall on any Sunday between 22 March and 25 April.

21 Apr    Low in the south before dawn, the moon is midway between Saturn, 6 fist-widths to the right, and Venus, the same distance to the left. The moon is about two-thirds illuminated.

23 Apr    The moon is at perigee, 57.97 Earth-radii (370,000 kilometers) away.

25 Apr    Look quickly before sunrise to see Venus 2 finger-widths below the moon.

26 Apr    Venus and the moon rise within 5 minutes of each other this morning. The moon is about 10 percent illuminated.

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USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 April 1 April 2012

Posted by amedalen in April 2012.
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8 Apr    Although Easter is intended to be the Sunday after the full moon or vernal equinox, assumptions in this rule do not necessarily correspond with celestial events. The vernal equinox, assumed to be on 21 March, could occur on 19 or 20 March as well. The date assumed for the full moon also may not coincide with the actual astronomical date, which means Easter could fall anywhere from 22 March to 25 April—a 35-day span.

10 Apr    Low in the south before dawn, Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

11 Apr    Rising early, the moon is high in the south at first light with Antares far to the lower right and Sagittarius to the lower left.

14 Apr    High in the west after sunset, magnitude 0.9 Aldebaran is less than 1 fist-width to brilliant Venus’ lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 4 to 10 April 28 March 2010

Posted by amedalen in April 2010.
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4 Apr
On Easter, the moon sits just above the tail of Scorpius with Sagittarius to its left.

5 Apr
Before first light, look low in the south as the moon passes within one-quarter degree of Kaus Borealis, the star at the top of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. Use binoculars.

6 Apr
Last-quarter moon
at 0937 UT

8 Apr
Mercury
is at its greatest elongation east, 19.4 degrees from the sun, making this the best time to spot it this year. Low in the west at evening twilight, magnitude 0.1 Mercury is 1½ finger-widths to the right of magnitude -3.9 Venus. Mercury begins to pull back closer to the horizon but is still easily visible for several more days. Use binoculars.

9 Apr
The moon is at apogee, 63.5 earth-radii away.

10 Apr
Low in the east before dawn, you’ll find magnitude -2.1 Jupiter 1 fist-width to the lower left of the thin waning crescent moon.