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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.

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USPS Star Calendar for 13-19 July 6 July 2014

Posted by amedalen in July 2014.
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13 Jul    You’ll need binoculars to watch as Mars passes to Spica’s left. The moon is at perigee, 56.17 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away. Perigee occurs 21 hours after the full moon, so we can expect tidal extremes.

15 Jul    High in the south before dawn, the bright star 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left is magnitude 1.3 Fomalhaut.

16 Jul    The moon rises late tonight, making for dark skies and good stargazing. Soon after sunset look high in the northwest for the Big Dipper with its handle pointing up. As evening passes, it rotates counterclockwise and is just above the northern horizon before dawn.

17 Jul    Look to the Big Dipper’s right tonight and follow the two pointer stars at the end of the dipper 3 fist-widths to the lower right to Polaris, the North Star. Some mistakenly believe Polaris is the brightest star, but at magnitude 2.1, it’s only second magnitude. The brightest star is magnitude –1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, which is only above the horizon during the day right now.

18 Jul    An hour before dawn, look for several second-magnitude stars within 2 and 2½ fist-widths of the moon: magnitude 2.1 Alpheratz above the moon, magnitude 2.2 Deneb Kaitos to the lower right, magnitude 2.0 Mira slightly closer and to the lower left, and magnitude 2.2 Hamal to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 23 February-1 March 16 February 2014

Posted by amedalen in February 2014, March 2014.
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23 Feb    The moon spends the next three days traveling between Saturn and Venus. This morning Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Venus is 3½ fist-widths to the lower left.

24 Feb    Venus is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left, and Saturn is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right.

25 Feb    The waning crescent moon is now less than 1 fist-width to Venus’ upper right. Only 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

26 Feb    The moon passes to Venus’s lower left today.

27 Feb    The moon is at perigee, 56.57 Earth-radii (360,000 kilometers) away. Before the sky gets too bright this morning, look for Mercury less than 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Only two days before new, the moon is less than 10 percent illuminated.

28 Feb    With a new moon early tomorrow morning, tonight is prime time for stargazing. High in the south at sunset, Jupiter is the first visible light in the evening sky. Orion stands to its lower right. Follow the three stars in Orion’s belt 2 fist-widths to the lower left to Sirius, the Dog Star, in the constellation Canis Major.

1 March   Look to the northeast at dusk to see the Big Dipper standing on its handle. The thin waxing crescent moon sets soon after the sun, making this a good opportunity to spot the Little Dipper. First find Polaris, the North Star, by following the pointer stars on the Big Dipper’s bucket 3 fist-widths to the left. Polaris marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. The rest of the handle arcs nearly 2 fist-widths to the lower right. The bucket hangs downward from the handle.

USPS Star Calendar for 31 March-6 April 26 March 2013

Posted by amedalen in April 2013, March 2013.
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31 Mar    Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the sun for the year, at nearly 28 degrees. Rising nearly an hour before the sun, Mercury has not been this far from the sun since 2006. Antares is 3 or 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left before dawn in the south. Saturn is more than 2 fist-widths to the left. The moon is at perigee, 367,000 kilometers away.

1 Apr    High in the west at sunset, magnitude -2.1 Jupiter is less than three finger-widths to the upper right of magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran; Orion is a couple of fist-widths to the left. During the month, the distance between Jupiter and Aldebaran increases as Aldebaran drops quickly, leaving Jupiter behind.

2 Apr    Rising 5 hours before the sun, the moon is low in the south at dawn above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius.

3 Apr    The last-quarter moon rises more than 4½ hours before the sun.

4 Apr    The moon sets before the sun, making the evenings perfect for stargazing. At dusk look for Orion in the west and brilliant magnitude -2.1 Jupiter 1 fist-width to the right. Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the lower right.

5 Apr    Look to Orion’s upper left tonight to see bright magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 2½ fist-widths to the upper left of Betelgeuse, Orion’s left shoulder. Magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, is 2½ fist-widths below Procyon. Follow a line from Betelgeuse through Procyon to magnitude 1.3 Regulus, 3½ fist-widths beyond Procyon.

6 Apr    The Big Dipper, Ursa Major, stands on its handle high in the east tonight. Follow the handle’s arc 3 fist-widths to the lower right to magnitude 0.2 Arcturus, and another 3 fist-widths to magnitude 1.2 Spica. Late tonight Saturn peeks above the horizon to Spica’s lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 24 February-2 March 17 February 2013

Posted by amedalen in February 2013, March 2013.
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24 Feb    The moon and Regulus rise less than an hour before sunset and are high in the south by midnight.

25 Feb    Regulus is a little more than 1 fist-width to the full moon’s upper right high in the south by midnight. The Big Dipper is nearly upside down, far to the left. Follow the arc of the dipper’s handle 3 fist-widths to Arcturus and another 3 fist-widths to Spica: Arc to Arcturus and speed on to Spica. Full at 2026 UT, tonight’s moon is called the Snow Moon.

26 Feb    The moon rises 1½ hours after sunset. Only a day past full, it appears full.

27 Feb    Rising about 2 hours after sunset, the moon is low in the southeast by midnight. Sirius is 1 fist-width to the lower left, and Saturn is 2 fist-widths beyond Sirius.

28 Feb    The moon rises 3½ hours after sunset, and Sirius will be so close to the moon’s left that you will need binoculars to see it.

1 Mar    The moon rises late this evening followed a few minutes later by Saturn, 2 finger-widths to the left.

2 Mar    Saturn is 2 finger-widths above the moon low in the southwest before dawn.

USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 February 10 February 2013

Posted by amedalen in February 2013.
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17 Feb    The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the right or upper right of the first-quarter moon high in the southwest early tonight. Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the upper left.

18 Feb    The waxing gibbous moon has moved to Jupiter’s left tonight, and Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

19 Feb    Orion is below the moon this evening. The second brightest star, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse, is 1 fist-width below or to the lower left of the moon. Two-and-a-half fist-widths beyond Betelgeuse lies magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the Dog Star, in the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. In myth, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs. The moon is at apogee, 63.42 earth-radii or 404,000 kilometers away.

20 Feb    The bright star 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left tonight is magnitude 1.9 Alhena in the constellation Gemini, the Twins.  Pollux and Castor, the Twins, are nearly 2 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left. Nearly 75 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

21 Feb    The moon lies midway between the Gemini Twins, to the upper left, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, below.

22 Feb    Rising 3 hours before sunset, the moon, nearly 90 percent illuminated, is visible before sunset. As daylight fades, watch as stars appear near the moon. The first to emerge should be the brightest, magnitude -1.59 Sirius, which is 3½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right. The next should be magnitude 0.5 Procyon, 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

23 Feb    Tonight, the moon is between Regulus, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, and Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right. The Big Dipper stands on its handle, far to the left.

USPS Star Calendar for 3-9 February 27 January 2013

Posted by amedalen in February 2013.
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3 Feb    The last-quarter moon is 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left in the pre-dawn sky.

4 Feb    Scorpius, the Scorpion, is to the lower left of the waning crescent moon low in the south before dawn.

5 Feb    Magnitude 1.1 Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left just before dawn. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

6 Feb    The waning crescent moon rises 3 hours before the sun low in the southeast before dawn. Only 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated

7 Feb    Look north at dusk to spot the Big Dipper just above the horizon with its handle to the lower left of the bowl. The dipper rotates counter-clockwise and is a little higher with the handle straight down three hours after sunset. By midnight, the dipper has rotated even more and is high in the northeast. The moon is at perigee, 57.28 earth radii or 365,000 kilometers away.

8 Feb    With the moon setting 1½ hours before the sun, tonight is perfect for stargazing. Starting with Orion high in the south, follow a line through the three belt stars 2 fist-widths to the lower left to the Dog Star, magnitude -1.59 Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major.

USPS Star Calendar for 5-11 February 29 January 2012

Posted by amedalen in February 2012.
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5 Feb    The moon lies between the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor to the upper left and Procyon to the lower right. The bright star 2½ fist-widths beyond Procyon is magnitude -1.59 Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major.

6 Feb    The nearly full moon rises less than an hour before sunset. Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right and the Big Dipper is far to the left.

7 Feb    The moon rises soon after sunset, followed by magnitude 1.3 Regulus to the lower left. Before midnight, they are high in the southeast with Regulus less than 4 finger-widths to the lower left and magnitude -0.7 Mars 2 fist-widths to Regulus’ lower left.

8 Feb    The moon rises a little more than an hour after sunset and is high in the southeast by midnight with Regulus 4 finger-widths above and Mars 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

9 Feb    Mars rises less than 10 minutes before the moon tonight. Mars is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left low in the east before midnight. They travel across the sky, and are low in the west tomorrow morning before dawn, with Mars nearly 1 fist-width to the upper right.

10 Feb    Growing closer, Jupiter and Venus are only 3 fist-widths apart in the west after sunset. The waning gibbous moon rises nearly 4 hours after sunset.

11 Feb    The moon rises shortly before midnight followed closely by magnitude 1.2 Spica less than 2 finger-widths to the lower left. A half hour later, magnitude 0.5 Saturn appears above the horizon 3 finger-widths beyond Spica. The moon is at perigee, 57.69 Earth-radii, 368,000 kilometers, away. The equation of time is at minimum for the year, -14.25 minutes.

USPS Star Calendar for 24 to 30 October 17 October 2010

Posted by amedalen in October 2010.
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24 Oct
The moon rises less than an hour after sunset. The Pleiades Cluster is less than 2 finger-widths to its left, and magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus the Bull, is 1½ fist-widths to the lower left. The bright star 3 fist-widths beyond the Pleiades is magnitude 0.2 Capella. Use binoculars.

25 Oct
Before dawn, the Pleiades Cluster is less than a half finger-width from the moon high in the west. Tonight, magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right, the Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths to the upper right, and magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2 fist-widths to the upper left. Use binoculars.

26 Oct
Look high in the west this morning to see Aldebaran 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Orion is farther left.

27 Oct
Rising just before midnight, the moon and Orion, 1 to 2 fist-widths to the right, are followed closely by the Gemini Twins. High in the south at first light, Orion is to the moon’s lower right and the Twins are to its upper left. The bright star nearly 4 fist-widths below the moon is magnitude -1.6 Sirius, the Dog Star.

28 Oct
The Gemini Twins rise with the moon late tonight.

29 Oct
At inferior conjunction with the sun, Venus passes between the sun and Earth and moves from the evening sky into the morning sky.

30 Oct
Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right high in the south at sunrise. The Gemini Twins are the same distance to the moon’s upper right, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Last-quarter moon at 1246 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 26 September to 2 October 19 September 2010

Posted by amedalen in October 2010, September 2010.
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27 Sep
Look low in the east late this evening to see the Pleiades 1 finger-width above the moon and Aldebaran 1 fist-width below the moon near the horizon. Magnitude -4.6 Venus is at its brightest. Use binoculars.

29 Sep
High in the south before dawn, Aldebaran is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Orion is directly below the moon.

1 Oct
Look low in the west at evening twilight to see magnitude -4.6 Venus a half fist-width above the horizon. Venus sets less than an hour after the sun, and magnitude 1.5 Mars is 3 finger-widths to the upper right. In the east, magnitude -2.9 Jupiter travels across the southern sky and sets an hour before sunrise. Last-quarter moon at 0352 UT (2352 EDT yesterday)

2 Oct
High in the east at first light, you’ll find the Gemini Twins, magnitude 1.2 Pollux and 1.6 Castor, less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left. Magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right and magnitude -1.6 Sirius is 2½ fist-widths farther right.