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USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 June 31 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in June 2015.
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7 Jun    High in the south before dawn, the moon is midway between Altair, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Fomalhaut, to the lower left.

9 Jun    Before dawn, the first-quarter moon is high in the southeast.

10 Jun    The moon is at perigee, 57.97 Earth-radii (370,000 kilometers) away.

12 Jun    Rising less than three hours before the sun, the waning crescent moon is low in the east before first light. The moon is surrounded by several second-magnitude stars: Mira 1½ fist-widths to the right or lower right, Hamal 1½ fist-widths to the upper left, Alpheratz 3 fist-widths above, and Deneb Kaitos 3 fist-widths to the lower right.

13 Jun    The equation of time is zero. Local mean time and sun time are equal.

USPS Star Calendar for 10-16 May 3 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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10 May    Look to the lower left of the Big Dipper for the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, in the west. Brilliant Venus is 2 fist-widths to the Twins’ lower right. You should be able to spot two bright stars to Venus’ left. Alhena is the brighter of the two. How many stars can you see between Alhena and Pollux? Now look again with binoculars.

12 May    This evening, Jupiter is high in the southwest. Regulus, in the constellation Leo, the Lion, is 1½ fist-widths to Regulus’ left. Five fist-widths beyond Regulus is Spica, in the constellation Virgo. Saturn is nearly 4 fist-widths to Spica’s lower right, near the horizon in the southeast.

13 May    To find the Little Dipper, follow the pointer stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s handle 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Polaris. Polaris is at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. Kochab, 1½ fist-widths to Polaris’ upper right, is one of the Little Dipper’s corners. Another corner is Pherkad, 2 finger-widths to Kochab’s right or lower right. You may need binoculars to see the other stars of the dipper and handle.

15 May    The moon is at perigee, 57.39 Earth-radii (366,000 kilometers) away.

16 May    Only two days before new, the moon rises less than an hour before the sun and is no more than a thin sliver, low in the east before dawn.

 

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 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 5-11 October 28 September 2014

Posted by amedalen in October 2014.
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5 Oct    The moon rises less than 2 hours before sunset and is high in the southwest by midnight. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

6 Oct    The moon is at perigee, 56.83 Earth-radii (362,000 kilometers) away.

8 Oct    A total lunar eclipse will be visible for much of the U.S. before dawn as Earth’s shadow covers the full moon.

10 Oct    Rising less than 2 hours after sunset, the waning gibbous moon is high in the east by midnight. You may need binoculars to see the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the left.

11 Oct    The moon rises 2½ hours after sunset and is followed a few minutes later by magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran. By midnight, they have climbed higher in the east with Aldebaran 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above the moon.

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 10-16 August 3 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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10 Aug    The moon is at perigee, 55.96 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. The closest perigee of the year occurs less than a half hour before the full moon. Check your tide tables for extreme tides.

11 Aug    The Perseid meteor shower peaks during the next few evenings. Unfortunately, the nearly full moon will outshine the meteors.

12 Aug    Rising an hour after sunset, the moon is low in the southeast by midnight.

13 Aug    High in the west before dawn, the bright star 6 fist-widths to the moon’s right is magnitude 1.3 Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

15 Aug    Low in the east before dawn, magnitude –3.9 Venus rises 15 minutes before magnitude –1.8 Jupiter, 1 finger-width away.

16 Aug    Venus and Jupiter rise 10 minutes apart this morning and are separated by less than a finger-width.