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USPS Star Calendar for 19-25 April 12 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015.
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19 Apr    At dusk, Mars is less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Mercury is less than 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower right.

21 Apr    Mercury is less than a finger-width to Mars’ lower left, low in the west this evening. The moon, Venus and Aldebaran form a tight triangle early tonight, with Venus 4 finger-widths to the moon’s right or upper right. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. Orion is 1 fist-width to the left.

22 Apr    Mercury is less than 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right.

23 Apr    At dusk, Alhena is 1 finger-width below the moon. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths beyond Alhena. Pollux is about 1½ fist-widths above the moon.

24 Apr    The moon lies midway between Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Procyon, to the lower left.

25 Apr    The first-quarter moon lies between Procyon, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Jupiter, 4 finger-widths to the upper left.

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USPS Star Calendar for 12-18 April 5 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015.
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12 Apr    Follow the pointer stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s handle to the left past Polaris, the North Star, to Cassiopeia, the Lazy “W” constellation near the horizon in the north.

13 Apr    Orion, the Mighty Hunter, is low in the west at sunset. Two fist-widths to the right of his belt is Aldabaran. Venus is 1 fist-width to the lower right of Aldabaran. Use your binoculars to spot the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters, 1 finger-width to the right of Venus.

15 Apr    The equation of time is zero. Local mean time and sun time are equal.

17 Apr    The moon is at perigee, 565.60 Earth-radii (361,000 kilometers) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 March 12 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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18 Mar    The thin, waning crescent moon rises a little more than an hour before the sun, followed by Mercury less than an hour later. If you are quick, you might get a glimpse of the planet before sunrise. As the sky begins to brighten, look through your binoculars for Mercury 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

19 Mar    The moon is at perigee, 56.12 Earth-radii (357,584 kilometers) away. With perigee and the new moon only a few hours apart, look for tidal extremes.

20 Mar    The only total solar eclipse of 2015 occurs today; a partial eclipse is visible across Europe, Northern Africa, Greenland, Iceland and much of Russia but not the U.S.

21 Mar    Low in the west at dusk, the moon is less than 2 fist-widths above the horizon. Mars is ½ finger-width to the right.

USPS Star Calendar for 18-24 January 11 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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18 Jan    Without the moon’s light, it should be easy to see a planet trio low in the west at sunset. Mercury is to the lower right of brilliant Venus, and Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the upper left.

19 Jan    Tonight is another dark night good for stargazing. Look for Gemini and Orion low in the west at dusk. Later this evening they are high in the south, while Jupiter and Leo the Lion take their place. To the left, the Big Dipper stands on its handle.

21 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, Venus is 2½ finger-widths to the moon’s left, and Mercury is 2 finger-widths below.

22 Jan   Early this evening, Mars is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left, and Venus is 1 fist-width below.

23 Jan    Forming a straight line tonight, Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Venus is a fist-width beyond Mars.

24 Jan    High in the southwest at dusk, the thin crescent moon is in a straight line between Deneb Kaitos, 2 fist-widths to the lower left, and Alpheratz, a little farther to the upper right. Mira is 3 fist-widths to the left.

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 Calendar for 21-27 December 14 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in December 2014.
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21 Dec    The winter solstice marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

23 Dec    Only two days past new, the thin waxing crescent moon is low in the west at dusk.

24 Dec    Mars stands to the left of the moon early this evening. They set less than 3½ hours after the sun. Altair is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right. The moon is at perigee, 57.19 Earth-radii (365,000 kilometers) away.

25 Dec    Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right this evening. The equation of time is zero.

26 Dec    The moon spends the last week of the year crossing the evening sky between Mars and Jupiter. Tonight Mars is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. Jupiter doesn’t even rise in the west until 20 minutes after Mars sets.

USPS Star Calendar for 23-29 November 16 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014.
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24 Nov    Low in the west at dusk, the waxing crescent moon sets less than 2½ hours after the sun. Mars is nearly 2 fist-widths to the upper left.

25 Nov    Mars is 4 finger-widths to the left of the waxing crescent moon, low in the southwest early tonight. The moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

26 Nov    Tonight the moon is 1 fist-width above Mars, which sets 2½ hours after the sun and is followed by the moon an hour later.

27 Nov    The moon is at perigee, 57.99 Earth-radii (370,000 kilometers) away.

29 Nov    Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths below the first-quarter moon high in the south at dusk.

USPS Star Calendar for 2-8 November 26 October 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014.
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2 Nov    Turn your clocks back. Daylight saving time ends this morning at 0200. Technically, the clock hour 0100 to 0200 is repeated. Déjà vu.

3 Nov    Magnitude 0.9 Mars is less than ½ finger-width above magnitude 2.9 Kaus Borealis, the uppermost star in the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. The moon is at perigee, 57.68 Earth-radii (368,000 kilometers) away.

5 Nov    Mercury and Spica rise side by side, 1½ hours before the sun.

7 Nov    The moon forms a triangle with magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran, less than 1 fist-width to the lower left, and the Pleiades Cluster, the same distance to the upper left.

8 Nov    Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right tonight.

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.