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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 2 to 8 January 26 December 2010

Posted by amedalen in January 2011.
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2 Jan     Mercury is 2 finger-widths to the thin crescent moon’s upper left low in the southeast just before dawn.

3 Jan     At perihelion, Earth is nearest to the sun for the year. Tonight and tomorrow night when the Quadrantids meteor shower peaks, up to 40 meteors per hour will radiate from the constellation Boötes, which rises low in the east around midnight.

4 Jan     A partial solar eclipse will be visible in most parts of northern Africa, Europe and Asia. New moon at 0903 UT

7 Jan     The waxing crescent moon sets 3½ hours after the sun this evening. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The bright “star” 3 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left is magnitude -2.3 Jupiter.

8 Jan     Venus is at its greatest elongation west, 47 degrees from the sun. It rises more than 3½ hours before the sun.