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USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 June 14 June 2015

Posted by amedalen in June 2015.
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21 Jun    The summer solstice occurs at 1638 UT. Regulus is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right.

23 Jun    Venus and Jupiter are separated by less than the width of 2 fingers held at arm’s length.

24 Jun    At its greatest elongation 22.5 degrees west of the sun, Mercury rises more than an hour before sunrise.

25 Jun    Spica is little more than 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left this evening.

26 Jun    The moon lies between Spica, 1 fist-width to the right or lower right, and Saturn, 2½ fist-widths to the lower left. Venus and Jupiter are separated by only 1 finger-width.

27 Jun    The moon moves closer to Saturn this evening. Spica is more than 2 fist-widths to the right, and Saturn is 1 fist-width to the lower left.

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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 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 6-12 July 29 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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6 Jul    The moon is between Saturn, 1 fist-width to the left, and Spica and Mars, the same distance to the right.

7 Jul    Tonight the moon passes within a half-degree of Saturn, with the best view as Saturn becomes visible. The moon slides to the left as the evening passes.

8 Jul    Low in the southeast at dusk, Saturn is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is the same distance to the lower left.

9 Jul    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right this evening. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

10 Jul    Tonight magnitude 0.2 Mars is 1 finger-width to magnitude 1.2 Spica’s upper right. During the next few days, Mars moves to Spica’s left.

11 Jul    Tonight Mars is three-fourths of a finger-width to Spica’s upper right.

12 Jul    You’ll need binoculars to see Mars half a finger-width to Spica’s upper right. Magnitude 0.4 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west, 20.9 degrees from the sun. Rising 1½ hours before the sun, Mercury is easy to spot before dawn 3 finger-widths to magnitude –3.9 Venus’ lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 25-31 May 18 May 2014

Posted by amedalen in May 2014.
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25 May    The waning crescent moon rises less than two hours before sunrise, followed a few minutes later by Venus. Look low in the east before first light to see Venus less than 1 finger-width below the moon. Mercury is at its greatest elongation east, 22.7 degrees from the sun. That means this is our best opportunity to catch a glimpse of Mercury, low in the west, just after sunset.

26 May    The moon is closer to the horizon this morning, 1 fist-width to Venus’ lower left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

30 May    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude 1.2 Mercury is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s right. They set less than 2 hours after the sun.

31 May    The moon is a little higher this evening but still sets a little more than 2 hours after the sun. Magnitude -1.9 Jupiter is 3 finger-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 1.2 Pollux lies beyond Jupiter.

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 26 January-1 February 19 January 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014, January 2014.
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26 Jan    The waning crescent moon rises four hours before the sun and is low in the south before first light. Antares, the red heart of the Scorpion, is less than 4 finger-widths below. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon rises less than a half hour before Venus this morning. The sun follows less than two hours later. Little more than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

30 Jan    The moon is at perigee, 56.05 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. With the new moon occurring less than 12 hours after perigee, we can expect tidal extremes.

31 Jan    Mercury reaches its greatest elongation east of the sun, 18.3 degrees, and is visible low in the west at dusk. Using binoculars, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the thin crescent moon to Mercury’s lower right.

1 Feb     The thin waxing crescent moon sets two and a half hours after the sun. With your binoculars, try to spot Mercury 1 fist-width below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 27 October-2 November 20 October 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013, October 2013.
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28 Oct    High in the south before first light, the waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus, 4 finger-widths to the lower left. Mars is 4 finger-widths to Regulus’ lower left.

29 Oct    Mars, Regulus and the moon form a tight triangle before dawn in the east.

1 Nov     The thin waning crescent moon rises 2 hours before the sun this morning. Spica rises later, directly below the moon. Arcturus is more than 3 fist-widths to the left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to Arcturus’ upper left. Venus reaches its greatest elongation, 47.1 degrees east of the sun.

USPS Star Calendar for 6-12 October 30 September 2013

Posted by amedalen in October 2013.
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6 Oct    The sun sets 1 hour before the waxing crescent moon. If you have a clear view of the western horizon, you may catch a glimpse of Mercury to the lower left and Saturn just above the moon. This is a good opportunity to view Mercury, which in 3 days will reach its greatest elongation east of the sun.

7 Oct    At evening twilight, magnitude –4.2 Venus will be 4 finger-widths to the left of the thin crescent moon.

8 Oct    Tonight the moon forms a triangle in the southwest with Venus, 3 finger-widths to the lower right, and Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, the same distance to the lower left.

9 Oct    This evening, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation, 25.3 degrees east of the sun.

10 Oct    The moon is at perigee, 57.98 Earth-radii (370,000 kilometers) away. This is the second-farthest perigee of the year.

11 Oct    The first-quarter moon is high in the south at dusk. Magnitude 0.9 Altair is 3 fist-widths above the moon.

12 Oct    Over the next few mornings, Mars and Regulus pass near each other, giving early risers quite a show. In the east, magnitude 1.6 Mars is 1 finger-width above magnitude 1.3 Regulus.

USPS Star Calendar for 28 July-3 August 21 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013, July 2013.
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28 Jul    High in the south at first light, the waning gibbous moon is between Alpheratz, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 2.0 Mira, 2 fist-widths to the lower left in the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster.

29 Jul    Rising around midnight, the last-quarter moon (1743 UT) is high in the southwest before dawn tomorrow.

30 Jul    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, magnitude 0.2 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the sun and should be visible before the sky brightens. With your binoculars, try spotting magnitude 1.6 Mars 3 finger-widths above Mercury and magnitude –1.9 Jupiter 1½ finger-widths to Mars’ upper right.

31 Jul    High in the east before dawn, look for the Pleiades Cluster 3 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s upper left. The moon is about one-third illuminated.

1 Aug    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right before dawn.

3 Aug    Over the next few days, the waning crescent moon passes by three planets in the pre-dawn sky. This morning look for magnitude –1.9 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left or lower left, and magnitude 1.6 Mars, 3 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left. About 10 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.63 Earth-radii (252,000 miles) away.