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USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 May 27 April 2014

Posted by amedalen in May 2014.
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4 May    The moon lies 4 finger-widths to Jupiter’s left, high in the west at sunset. Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left.

5 May    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width below the moon at dusk.

6 May    The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

7 May    Regulus is 3 finger-widths to the first-quarter moon’s upper left, high in the south at dusk.

8 May    Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right this evening. Mars is 3 fist-widths to the lower left. Noticeably dimmer Spica is 1½ fist-widths beyond Mars.

9 May    Mars is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left tonight.

10 May    High in the southeast at dusk, Mars stands about 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left. Saturn, at opposition, rises at sunset and is visible all night.

USPS Star Calendar for 6-12 April 30 March 2014

Posted by amedalen in April 2014.
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6 Apr    High in the southwest at dusk, Jupiter is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right. Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

7 Apr    The first-quarter moon lies midway between Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and Procyon, the same distance to the lower left. Jupiter is nearly 1½ fist-widths to the right.

8 Apr    Mars is at opposition, meaning it is opposite the sun when viewed from Earth. Mars rises at sunset and remains in the sky all night.

10 Apr    High in the south early tonight, bright Regulus is 2 finger-widths above the moon.

12 Apr    The moon lies between Regulus, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Mars, 2 fist-widths to the lower left.  

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 9-15 February 2 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014.
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10 Feb    Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is near the moon’s lower right. The moon’s brightness may overwhelm the star, so binoculars will help. Late tonight, Mars and Spica rise side by side, little more than 2 finger-widths apart. At magnitude 0.0, Mars is noticeably brighter than magnitude 1.2 Spica.

11 Feb    The first “star” to appear at dusk is magnitude -2.5 Jupiter, 1 fist-width above the moon high in the east. As the sky darkens, magnitude 1.5 Procyon becomes visible 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. Next, Pollux and then Castor emerge 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left. The equation of time is at minimum for the year, -14.25 minutes. Magnitude -4.6 Venus is at its brightest.

12 Feb    The moon is at apogee, 63.76 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

14 Feb    Regulus rises alongside the full moon, and the pair are high in the southeast by midnight with Regulus 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left.

15 Feb    The moon rises an hour after sunset. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the left near the horizon. At inferior conjunction, Mercury passes between the sun and Earth and will soon be visible in the pre-dawn sky.

USPS Star Calendar for 12-18 January 5 January 2014

Posted by amedalen in January 2014.
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13 Jan    Bright lights surround the waxing gibbous moon tonight. The brightest, magnitude –2.7 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the lower left, magnitude 0.2 Capella is 3 fist-widths to the upper left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the lower right, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 fist-widths to the upper right.

14 Jan    Only two days from full, the moon stands a little more than 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower right this evening.

15 Jan    Tonight, the moon is 1 fist-width below Jupiter and midway between magnitude 0.5 Procyon, one fist-width to the lower right, and magnitude 1.2 Pollux, the same distance to the upper left.

16 Jan    The moon is at apogee, 63.81 Earth-radii (more than 406,000 kilometers) away.

18 Jan    The moon rises less than two hours after sunset, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus can be found 2 finger-widths to its upper left. Five fist-widths to the left, the Big Dipper stands on its handle just above the horizon.

USPS Star Calendar for 29 December-4 January 22 December 2013

Posted by amedalen in December 2013, January 2014.
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29 Dec    The moon is 4 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left. Less than 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

1 Jan    Rising a few minutes after sunset, Jupiter is high in the east by midevening. The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are less than 1 fist-width to the left, and Orion is about 3 fist-widths to the right. The bright star 2 fist-widths to the lower right is magnitude 0.5 Procyon. The new moon, only 9.8 hours old, is at perigee, 56.02 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. Check your tide tables.

2 Jan    Occurring a day after the new moon, the Quadrantids meteor shower should be above average and can be viewed over five nights. At its peak from the evening of 2 Jan. to the morning of 3 Jan, you may see 60-200 meteors per hour. For best viewing, choose a dark location after midnight. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky but will radiate from the constellation Boötes, which rises above the eastern horizon shortly after midnight. This is the only one of the three dominant meteor showers (Quadrantids, Perseids and Geminids) on a moonless night.

4 Jan    At perihelion, Earth makes its closest approach to the sun for the year at 0.98333 AU, or about 91.4 million miles, away. An astronomical unit (92,955,807.3 miles) is the average distance from Earth to the sun.

USPS Star Calendar for 15-21 December 8 December 2013

Posted by amedalen in December 2013.
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15 Dec    Aldebaran is 1 finger-width below the moon tonight.

17 Dec    The last full moon of the year rises a half-hour after sunset, followed less than an hour later by Jupiter to the lower left. Orion is to the right.

18 Dec    This evening, Jupiter and the moon rise side by side an hour and a half after sunset.

19 Dec    Jupiter stands directly above the moon in the early evening. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. The moon is at apogee, 63.70 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

21 Dec    Winter arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 1711 UT as the sun reaches its farthest point south of the celestial equator.

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 20-26 October 13 October 2013

Posted by amedalen in October 2013.
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20 Oct    The waning gibbous moon rises alongside the Pleiades Cluster a little more than an hour after sunset. By midnight, they are high in the east with the Seven Sisters 4 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

21 Oct    Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths below the moon tonight, and the Seven Sisters are 1 fist-width above, which is a good time to take a closer look at the Pleiades Cluster.

23 Oct    The moon and Orion rise 3½ hours after sunset and are near the eastern horizon at midnight.

24 Oct    The moon and Orion are high in the south before first light. Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. This evening, the moon rises an hour before midnight, followed by Jupiter soon thereafter.

25 Oct    Before dawn, look for Jupiter 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left. The Gemini Twins are above Jupiter. The moon is at apogee, 63.43 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

26 Oct    The moon is 1 fist-width to Jupiter’s lower left in the east with magnitude 0.5 Procyon 1 fist-width below.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 September 15 September 2013

Posted by amedalen in September 2013.
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22 Sep    Today marks the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, as the sun crosses the celestial equator into the Southern Hemisphere.

23 Sep    Using binoculars, look for the Pleiades Cluster 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this evening.

24 Sep    High in the southwest before dawn, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Aldebaran is less than 1 fist-width to the left.

25 Sep    In the south before dawn, bright magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. To the moon’s lower left, Orion the Mighty Hunter dominates the southern sky.

26 Sep    Rising shortly after midnight, the first-quarter moon is high in the south before dawn, midway between Jupiter to the lower left and Aldebaran to the upper right. The brightest star in Orion, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, is 1 fist-width below the moon.

27 Sep    Magnitude 1.9 Alhena, in the constellation Gemini, is 1 finger-width below the moon in the pre-dawn sky. The Twins, Pollux and Castor, are nearly 2 fist-widths to the left. Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.39 Earth-radii (251,000 miles) away. Last-quarter moon at 0355 UT

28 Sep    The moon is between magnitude –2.2 Jupiter, 3 finger-widths to the upper left, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right.