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USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 April 29 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015.
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5 Apr    Only one day past full, the moon rises 1½ hours after sunset.

7 Apr    Just before midnight, the moon rises less than a half-hour before Saturn.

8 Apr    Low in the west before dawn, the moon and Saturn are in the head of the Scorpion, Scorpius. Saturn is less than a finger-width to the moon’s lower left. Antares is 4 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left.

10 Apr    This morning the moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. Mercury is in superior conjunction, passing on the opposite side of the sun as seen from Earth.

11 Apr    With the moon rising in the early morning, we have dark evening skies for stargazing. High in the northeast, the Big Dipper is nearly upside down. Follow the pointer stars at the end of the handle 3 fist-widths to the lower left to Polaris, the North Star. Then follow the handle’s arc 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Arcturus. Continue along the arc another 3 fist-widths to Spica. “Arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica.”

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USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 January 4 January 2015

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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11 Jan    Low in the west at dusk, Mercury passes within 0.6 degrees of Venus. Look quickly with binoculars, because the pair set 1½ hours after the sun.

13 Jan    Before dawn, the moon is 1 finger-width to Spica’s upper left.

14 Jan    At its greatest elongation east, Mercury sets more than 1½ hours after the sun. Look for Venus ½ finger-width to the left.

16 Jan    Using binoculars, look low in the east before dawn to see Saturn ½ finger width to the moon’s right.

17 Jan    The waning crescent moon rises 3 hours before the sun. Antares, the heart of the ScorpionScorpius, is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right. Saturn is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right.

USPS Star Calendar for 31 August-6 September 24 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014, September 2014.
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31 Aug    The moon joins Saturn and Mars tonight. Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right, and Mars is 1½ finger-widths to the lower left. The moon is about 25 percent illuminated.

1 Sep    The moon is in the head of the Scorpion this evening. Antares, the Scorpion’s heart, is 1 fist-width to the lower left. Mars and Saturn are 1 fist-width to the lower right.

2 Sep    The first-quarter moon is low in the south at sunset. Antares is 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Sagittarius, the Teapot constellation, is to the lower left.

3 Sep    The waxing gibbous moon is 1 fist-width above the Teapot’s dome tonight.

5 Sep    Magnitude –3.9 Venus passes within 0.73 degrees of magnitude 1.3 Regulus low in the east before first light. They should be visible with binoculars after Venus rises, an hour before the sun.

6 Sep    As soon as the sky darkens tonight, look 3 fist-widths above or to the upper right of the moon for magnitude 0.9 Altair, in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle that carried thunderbolts for Zeus. About 85 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

 

USPS Star Calendar for 6-12 July 29 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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6 Jul    The moon is between Saturn, 1 fist-width to the left, and Spica and Mars, the same distance to the right.

7 Jul    Tonight the moon passes within a half-degree of Saturn, with the best view as Saturn becomes visible. The moon slides to the left as the evening passes.

8 Jul    Low in the southeast at dusk, Saturn is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is the same distance to the lower left.

9 Jul    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right this evening. More than 80 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

10 Jul    Tonight magnitude 0.2 Mars is 1 finger-width to magnitude 1.2 Spica’s upper right. During the next few days, Mars moves to Spica’s left.

11 Jul    Tonight Mars is three-fourths of a finger-width to Spica’s upper right.

12 Jul    You’ll need binoculars to see Mars half a finger-width to Spica’s upper right. Magnitude 0.4 Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west, 20.9 degrees from the sun. Rising 1½ hours before the sun, Mercury is easy to spot before dawn 3 finger-widths to magnitude –3.9 Venus’ lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 22-28 June 15 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in June 2014.
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23 Jun    The moon rises 2½ hours before the sun this morning and is followed 40 minutes later by magnitude -3.9 Venus about 1 fist-width to the lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to Venus’ upper left.

24 Jun    The moon and Venus rise together this morning, less than 2 hours before the sun. The moon is only 1 finger-width to Venus’ lower right. The moon is only 10 percent illuminated.

25 Jun    The moon rises just before the sun for the next few days, giving us dark evenings for stargazing. Let’s look at some of the night sky’s less obvious features. Start in the west with the constellation Leo, the Lion, whose brightest star, magnitude 1.3 Regulus, is easy to spot. How many of the other stars can you see with your  binoculars? Most are third magnitude and dimmer except for one second-magnitude star, magnitude 2.2 Denebola, 2½ fist-widths to Regulus’ upper left.

26 Jun    Look high overhead tonight. Find Arcturus by following the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle. Arcturus is the brightest star of the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Many believe that Boötes looks more like a kite. None of the stars are brighter than third magnitude.

27 Jun    Turning to the south, Scorpius, the Scorpion, dominates the area near the horizon. Magnitude 1.1 Antares is its only first-magnitude star.

28 Jun    Low in the west after sunset, magnitude -1.8 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the very thin moon’s upper right. The moon sets less than an hour after the sun.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 June 4 June 2014

Posted by amedalen in June 2014.
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8 Jun    The moon passes to the left of Spica by less than the width of a finger held at arm’s length.

9 Jun    The moon lies between Spica and Saturn this evening. Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left.

10 Jun    The moon lies nearly 3 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left.

11 Jun    The moon, Saturn, Spica, Mars and Regulus form a more or less straight line spanning 10 fist-widths across the southern sky early this evening. Antares, the red heart of the Scorpion, is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right near the southeastern horizon.

12 Jun    Low in the southeast by midnight, Antares is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right or lower right. The Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, is to the lower left, near the horizon.

13 Jun    The full moon rises a half-hour after sunset and sets tomorrow morning nearly 2 hours after sunrise. The equation of time is zero. Local mean time and sun time are equal.

USPS Star Calendar for 26 January-1 February 19 January 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014, January 2014.
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26 Jan    The waning crescent moon rises four hours before the sun and is low in the south before first light. Antares, the red heart of the Scorpion, is less than 4 finger-widths below. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

28 Jan    The thin waning crescent moon rises less than a half hour before Venus this morning. The sun follows less than two hours later. Little more than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

30 Jan    The moon is at perigee, 56.05 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away. With the new moon occurring less than 12 hours after perigee, we can expect tidal extremes.

31 Jan    Mercury reaches its greatest elongation east of the sun, 18.3 degrees, and is visible low in the west at dusk. Using binoculars, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the thin crescent moon to Mercury’s lower right.

1 Feb     The thin waxing crescent moon sets two and a half hours after the sun. With your binoculars, try to spot Mercury 1 fist-width below the moon.

USPS Star Calendar for 6-12 October 30 September 2013

Posted by amedalen in October 2013.
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6 Oct    The sun sets 1 hour before the waxing crescent moon. If you have a clear view of the western horizon, you may catch a glimpse of Mercury to the lower left and Saturn just above the moon. This is a good opportunity to view Mercury, which in 3 days will reach its greatest elongation east of the sun.

7 Oct    At evening twilight, magnitude –4.2 Venus will be 4 finger-widths to the left of the thin crescent moon.

8 Oct    Tonight the moon forms a triangle in the southwest with Venus, 3 finger-widths to the lower right, and Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, the same distance to the lower left.

9 Oct    This evening, Mercury reaches its greatest elongation, 25.3 degrees east of the sun.

10 Oct    The moon is at perigee, 57.98 Earth-radii (370,000 kilometers) away. This is the second-farthest perigee of the year.

11 Oct    The first-quarter moon is high in the south at dusk. Magnitude 0.9 Altair is 3 fist-widths above the moon.

12 Oct    Over the next few mornings, Mars and Regulus pass near each other, giving early risers quite a show. In the east, magnitude 1.6 Mars is 1 finger-width above magnitude 1.3 Regulus.

USPS Star Calendar for 11-17 August 4 August 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013.
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11 Aug    Tonight, the bright star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left is magnitude 1.2 Spica. The Perseid meteor shower peaks over the next few nights. Viewing will be better after the moon sets, 2 to 3 hours after sunset.

12 Aug    Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left tonight. Spica is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

13 Aug    The moon is in the constellation Libra, the Scales, this evening. With binoculars, you should have no trouble spotting magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi, less than 1 finger-width to the moon’s right. The moon is about one-third illuminated.

14 Aug    The first-quarter moon (1056 UT) stands to the right of Scorpius, the head of the Scorpion constellation.

15 Aug    Antares is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight.

16 Aug    The moon stands above the top of Sagittarius, the Teapot constellation.

17 Aug    Rising 3 hours before sunset, the waxing gibbous moon is low in the south in the early evening with magnitude 0.9 Altair 3 fist-widths to the upper left. Only 3 days from full, the moon is about 80 percent illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 4-10 August 28 July 2013

Posted by amedalen in August 2013.
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4 Aug     This morning, the moon slips past both Jupiter and Mars, now 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left. Magnitude –0.6 Mercury is 1 fist-width to Mars’ lower left. The moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

5 Aug    Spotting a sliver of moon through your binoculars will be harder this morning as the moon rises only an hour before the sun. Less than 5 percent of the moon is illuminated.

6 Aug    New moon at 2151 UT

7 Aug    The moon sets within a few minutes of the sun, giving us dark evening skies for the next few evenings. Beginning at dusk, look for magnitude –4.0 Venus near the western horizon. Next, look for magnitude 0.2 Arcturus high to the upper left, more than 4 fist-widths from Venus. Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is to Arcturus’ lower left, and magnitude 1.2 Spica is to Saturn’s lower right.

8 Aug    The Scorpion hugs the southern horizon tonight. Magnitude 1.1 Antares is the constellation’s brightest star. The head and claws extend to the right, and the tail curls to the lower left. Sagittarius is to the left of the tail.

9 Aug    The sun sets an hour before the moon tonight. As the sky darkens, use your binoculars to look for magnitude –4.0 Venus 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right. Only 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

10 Aug    Farther to the left of Venus, the moon sets more than an hour and a half after the sun.