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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.

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 22-28 March 15 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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22 Mar    The moon is a little higher in the sky this evening. Venus is 1½ finger-widths to the right.

23 Mar    The moon lies between Venus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower right, and Aldebaran, to the upper left.

24 Mar    High in the west tonight, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right, Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to its upper left, and Orion is 2½ fist-widths to the left.

26 Mar    High in the southwest at dusk, the moon lies between Orion and the Gemini Twins. Orion is below the moon, and the Gemini Twins are high above.

28 Mar    Procyon is 1 fist-width below the moon, Pollux is the same distance to the upper right, and Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left.

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 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 16-22 November 9 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014.
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16 Nov    The moon rises early tomorrow morning, so dark skies tonight make exploration a little easier. Look high in the west 3 or 4 hours after sunset. The Summer Triangle, made up of the only first-magnitude stars in the area, dominates the western sky. The brightest, magnitude 0.1 Vega, forms the lower right corner of the triangle. The next brightest, magnitude 0.9 Altair, anchors the lower left corner, a little more than 3 fist-widths to Vega’s left or lower left. Magnitude 1.3 Deneb sits at the triangle’s top, a little more than 2 fist-widths above or to the upper left of Vega.

17 Nov    Only two first-magnitude stars are in the east tonight. The brightest is magnitude 0.2 Capella. Three fist-widths to its lower right is magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran. The moonless sky gives us the perfect chance for a good view of the Pleiades Cluster, the Seven Sisters. With your naked eye, look a little more than 1 fist-width above Aldebaran and see how many of the sisters you can spot. Now look with your binoculars.

19 Nov    Low in the east before dawn, Spica is 1 finger-width below the waning crescent moon, which is only 10 percent illuminated.

20 Nov    Edwin Hubble was born on this day in 1889. Among his greater contributions to astronomy was the confirmation that the Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in the visible universe. He also discovered that the universe is expanding in all directions, relative to everything else in the universe. In recognition of his achievements, NASA named its large space telescope for him.

21 Nov    Only one day before new, the moon sets a few minutes after sunset, making for dark skies and good viewing opportunities. About 4 hours after sunset, Orion and Gemini appear above the eastern horizon. To the north, the Big Dipper is just above the horizon. For viewers in southern states, the Big Dipper is below the horizon.

USPS Star Calendar for 9-15 November 2 November 2014

Posted by amedalen in November 2014.
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9 Nov    The moon rises 2½ hours after sunset, followed shortly by the Gemini Twins to the lower left and Orion, the Mighty Hunter, to the lower right. They are high in the west before dawn tomorrow with the twins above the moon and the hunter below.

10 Nov    The moon rises 3½ hours after sunset, about the same time as Gemini and Orion.  The star 1 finger-width to the moon’s right or upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, part of the Gemini constellation.

11 Nov    Rising late, the moon is high in the east at midnight with the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the upper left and Procyon the same distance to the lower right.

13 Nov    The moon and Jupiter rise side by side shortly before midnight and are separated by less than 3 finger-widths.

14 Nov    Regulus, Jupiter and the last-quarter moon form a tight triangle high in the south at first light. Jupiter is 2 finger-widths above or to the upper left of the moon while Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left.

15 Nov    The moon and Regulus rise a few minutes apart shortly after midnight. They are high in the south at sunrise with Regulus less than 3 finger-widths above the moon. Jupiter is to the upper right. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

USPS Star Calendar for 12-18 October 5 October 2014

Posted by amedalen in October 2014.
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13 Oct    The moon rises late, 4 hours after sunset, with Orion rising at the same time to its right.

14 Oct    High in the south before first light, Orion stands tall to the moon’s lower right. The Gemini Twins are 2 fist-widths to the upper left.

15 Oct    The bright star 1 fist-width below the moon this morning is magnitude 0.5 Procyon.

17 Oct    Magnitude –2.0 Jupiter is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left before dawn. About 40 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

18 Oct    The waning crescent moon is 4 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower right this morning. Magnitude 1.3 Regulus is nearly 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Together, the trio form a triangle you can cover with your fist held at arm’s length. The moon is at apogee, 63.48 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.