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USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 November 10 November 2013

Posted by amedalen in November 2013.
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17 Nov    The full moon rises within a few minutes of sunset with the Pleiades Cluster to its upper left. At midnight, the Pleiades Cluster is above the moon with Aldebaran to the lower left and Orion near the horizon.

18 Nov    The moon rises an hour after sunset with Aldebaran less than 2 finger-widths to the right or upper right. Still in Sagittarius, Venus passes within a fraction of a degree below magnitude 2.1 Nunki, in the handle of the Teapot.  Comet ISON passes close to Spica low in the west before dawn. Moving 2–3 degrees a day, the comet may already have an impressive tail.

19 Nov    Nearing Mercury, Comet ISON is a few degrees to Spica’s lower left.

20 Nov    Rising 3 hours after sunset, the moon is to Orion’s left. Then rising a half-hour later, Jupiter and the Gemini Twins are to the moon’s lower left.

21 Nov    Tonight, Jupiter rises a few minutes before the moon, which is less than 3 finger-widths to the lower right with the Gemini Twins a little farther to the left. Comet ISON may be as bright as magnitude 1.8 this morning.

22 Nov    The moon is at apogee, 63.57 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) from Earth.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 October 7 October 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012.
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14 Oct    Following a line from the Big Dipper’s pointer stars through and beyond Polaris brings us to Cassiopeia, the Lazy W constellation. In Greek mythology, she was the wife of King Cepheus and mother of Andromeda. In Roman myth, Cassiopeia was chained to her throne as punishment for her boastfulness. To Arab astronomers, Cassiopeia’s stars formed the main part of the Camel constellation.

17 Oct    The moon is at perigee, 56.55 Earth-radii (361,000 kilometers) away.

18 Oct    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude 1.2 Mars is 3 finger-widths to the thin, waxing crescent moon’s lower right. Less than 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower left sits its red rival, magnitude 1.1 Antares. Using binoculars, compare their colors. Don’t dally, because they sink below the horizon within two hours of sunset.

19 Oct    Low in the southwest at dusk, the waxing crescent moon is just above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. Arab astronomers saw these stars as ostriches on their way to drink from the Milky Way. The moon’s surface is 20 percent illuminated.

20 Oct    Having moved to the left, the moon is above the handle of the Teapot. The star 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left is magnitude 2.1 Nunki.

USPS Star Calendar for 7 to 13 March 28 February 2010

Posted by amedalen in March 2010.
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7 Mar
Last-quarter moon
at 1543 UT, 1043 EST. Antares is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s right.

9 Mar
Using binoculars, look 1 finger-width below the moon to see magnitude 2.1 Nunki in the constellation Sagittarius.

12 Mar
The moon is at apogee, 63.66 earth-radii away.