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USPS Star Calendar for 3-9 May 26 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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3 May    High in the east at midnight, the full moon is midway between Spica, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Saturn, to the lower left.

4 May    The moon rises shortly after sunset and is followed a little more than a half-hour later by Saturn.

5 May    Rising late, the moon, Saturn and Antares are low in the east at midnight. Saturn is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right while Antares is 4 finger-widths to the lower right.

6 May    Early this morning, the moon, Saturn and Antares travel low in the south and are low in the southwest at first light.

7 May    At its greatest elongation 21.2 degrees east of the sun, Mercury sets an hour after sunset.

8 May    The waning gibbous moon rises to the upper left of the dome of the Teapot, Sagittarius.

9 May    Tonight and the next few nights, the moon rises after midnight, making for good stargazing in the evening. Look in the north for the Big Dipper, which is upside down and nearly overhead.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 December-3 January 21 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014, January 2015.
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28 Dec    High in the south at dusk, Mars is to the far lower right of the first-quarter moon. Jupiter rises 10 minutes after Mars sets.

29 Dec    Early this evening, the waxing gibbous moon lies between two second-magnitude stars. Use binoculars to find magnitude 2.2 Mira 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos 3 fist-widths to the lower right. Later Mira will be directly above the moon and Deneb Kaitos will be directly below.

31 Dec    The last day of the year finds the moon high in the east at dusk with Orion and Gemini just above the eastern horizon. The moon won’t catch up with Jupiter until January.

1 Jan    High in the east at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above or to the upper left of the moon. Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

2 Jan    Gemini and Orion are high in the southeast by midnight.

3 Jan    Just after dark, Gemini is to the moon’s lower left and Orion to its lower right.

USPS Star Calender for 7-13 December 30 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014.
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7 Dec    The moon lies between Orion and Gemini this evening. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 2 finger-widths below the moon.

8 Dec    The Gemini Twins rise with the moon, more than 2 hours after sunset. By midnight, they are high in the east with Procyon 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right.

9 Dec    Magnitude 0.5 Procyon and the moon rise more than 3 hours after sunset. Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right. Sirius is another 2 ½ fist-widths beyond Procyon.

10 Dec    The moon rises a little more than 4 hours after sunset, and Jupiter follows a half hour later. By midnight, they are still fairly low in the east. Procyon is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Regulus is 4 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left.

11 Dec    Jupiter rises 1 hour 20 minutes after sunset, followed by the moon 20 minutes later. Together with Regulus, they form a tight triangle low in the east late this evening and early tomorrow morning. Four fingers held at arm’s length will cover all three.

12 Dec    The waning gibbous moon rises late tonight, with Regulus and Jupiter directly above it. The moon is at apogee, 63.44 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

13 Dec    Right to left, Jupiter, Regulus and the moon line up high in the south in the pre-dawn sky. Spica is far to the lower 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 26 October-1 November 19 October 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014, October 2014.
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26 Oct    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left just above the horizon at dusk. The moon is only 5 percent illuminated.

27 Oct    Low in the southwest at sunset, magnitude 0.9 Mars is less than 1 fist-width to the lower left of the thin waxing crescent moon. About 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Oct    Mars sets 3 hours after the sun. The moon, now to Mars’ upper left, follows an hour later.

29 Oct    The bright star 2½ fist-widths above the moon at dusk is magnitude 0.9 Altair.

31 Oct    The first-quarter moon lies midway between magnitude 0.9 Altair, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut, to the lower left.

1 Nov    In the southeast at sunset, magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths below the waxing gibbous moon. Magnitude –0.5 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation of the year, 18.7 degrees west of the sun. Rising more than 1½ hours before the sun, Mercury is followed a few minutes later by magnitude 1.2 Spica to the lower right.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 September-4 October 21 September 2014

Posted by amedalen in October 2014, September 2014.
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28 Sep    The moon is to Saturn’s upper left, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left, and Antares is a little more than 1 finger-width to Mars’ lower left. Look at them through binoculars to compare the colors of the red planet and the red star.

29 Sep    The moon, Mars and Antares line up this evening. Mars is 3 finger-widths below the moon, and Antares is about 1½ finger-widths below Mars.

30 Sep    Mars and Antares are close together, far to the moon’s lower right.

1 Oct    The first-quarter moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the south tonight. Mars and Antares are 3 fist-widths to the lower right.

2 Oct    The bright star 2½ fist-widths above the moon is magnitude 0.9 Altair.

3 Oct    The waxing gibbous moon lies between Altair, 2½ fist widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut, 3½ fist-widths to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 September 31 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in September 2014.
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8 Sep     The moon is at perigee, 56.19 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away. Perigee occurs 22 hours before the full moon, so we can expect extreme tides.

10 Sep    Rising an hour after sunset, the moon is high in the southeast by midnight.

11 Sep    High in the west before dawn, the moon is three days past full, and about 95 percent of its surface is illuminated.

13 Sep    Rising more than 3 hours after sunset, the waning gibbous moon is low in the east at midnight, with the Pleiades Cluster 4 finger-widths to its upper left

USPS Star Calendar for 31 August-6 September 24 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014, September 2014.
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31 Aug    The moon joins Saturn and Mars tonight. Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right, and Mars is 1½ finger-widths to the lower left. The moon is about 25 percent illuminated.

1 Sep    The moon is in the head of the Scorpion this evening. Antares, the Scorpion’s heart, is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Mars and Saturn are 1 fist-width to the lower right.

2 Sep    The first-quarter moon is low in the south at sunset. Antares is 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Sagittarius, the Teapot constellation, is to the lower left.

3 Sep    The waxing gibbous moon is 1 fist-width above the Teapot’s dome tonight.

5 Sep    Magnitude –3.9 Venus passes within 0.73 degrees of magnitude 1.3 Regulus low in the east before first light. They should be visible with binoculars after Venus rises, an hour before the sun.

6 Sep    As soon as the sky darkens tonight, look 3 fist-widths above or to the upper right of the moon for magnitude 0.9 Altair, in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle that carried thunderbolts for Zeus. About 85 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

 

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 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.