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USPS Star Calendar for 21-27 June 14 June 2015

Posted by amedalen in June 2015.
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21 Jun    The summer solstice occurs at 1638 UT. Regulus is less than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right.

23 Jun    Venus and Jupiter are separated by less than the width of 2 fingers held at arm’s length.

24 Jun    At its greatest elongation 22.5 degrees west of the sun, Mercury rises more than an hour before sunrise.

25 Jun    Spica is little more than 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left this evening.

26 Jun    The moon lies between Spica, 1 fist-width to the right or lower right, and Saturn, 2½ fist-widths to the lower left. Venus and Jupiter are separated by only 1 finger-width.

27 Jun    The moon moves closer to Saturn this evening. Spica is more than 2 fist-widths to the right, and Saturn is 1 fist-width to the lower left.

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USPS Calendar for 24-30 May 17 May 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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24 May    Regulus is 2 finger-widths above the moon this evening, and Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the right.

25 May    Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

26 May    High in the south at dusk, the moon lies between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the right or upper right, and Spica, 3 fist-widths to the left or lower left. The moon is at apogee, 63.38 Earth-radii (404,000 kilometers) away.

28 May    Spica is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this evening. Venus sweeps past Pollux and Castor, the Gemini Twins, over the next few nights. Tonight Venus is 1 finger-width to Pollux’s lower left.

29 May    Spica is 1 finger-width to the moon’s right or lower right.

30 May    The moon lies between Spica, 1½ fist-widths to the upper right, and Saturn, 2 fist-widths to the lower left. Venus is a little higher this evening to Pollux’s lower left.

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 3-9 May 26 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in May 2015.
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3 May    High in the east at midnight, the full moon is midway between Spica, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Saturn, to the lower left.

4 May    The moon rises shortly after sunset and is followed a little more than a half-hour later by Saturn.

5 May    Rising late, the moon, Saturn and Antares are low in the east at midnight. Saturn is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right while Antares is 4 finger-widths to the lower right.

6 May    Early this morning, the moon, Saturn and Antares travel low in the south and are low in the southwest at first light.

7 May    At its greatest elongation 21.2 degrees east of the sun, Mercury sets an hour after sunset.

8 May    The waning gibbous moon rises to the upper left of the dome of the Teapot, Sagittarius.

9 May    Tonight and the next few nights, the moon rises after midnight, making for good stargazing in the evening. Look in the north for the Big Dipper, which is upside down and nearly overhead.

USPS Star Calendar for 26 April-2 May 19 April 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015, May 2015.
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27 Apr    High in the south at dusk, Regulus is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and moving to the moon’s upper right.

28 Apr    Jupiter, Regulus, the moon and Spica form a nearly straight line in the southeast for several days. Tonight the moon is 1 fist-width to Regulus’ lower left and 4 fist-widths to Spica’s upper right.

29 Apr    The moon is midway between Regulus and Spica.

30 Apr    The moon is 1½ fist-widths to Spica’s upper right.

1 May    Tonight the moon is 2 finger-widths above Spica. Bright Arcturus is 3 fist-widths to the moon’s left. The Big Dipper is far to the upper left

2 May    The moon is to Spica’s lower left this evening.

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.”

USPS Star Calendar for 29 March-4 April 22 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in April 2015, March 2015.
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29 Mar    Jupiter is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left this evening.

30 Mar    Tonight Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Regulus is to the moon’s lower left.

31 Mar    Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon this evening.

1 Apr    Early tonight, Regulus is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right high in the east, and Jupiter is another 1½ fist-widths beyond Regulus.

2 Apr    In the east, Jupiter, Regulus, the moon and Spica line up from upper right to lower left late tonight.

4 Apr    This morning brings a total lunar eclipse. The eclipse begins as the moon enters Earth’s umbra at 1015 UT. Totality runs from 1157 to 1202 UT, with the last shadow leaving the moon at 1345 UT. Less than half the eclipse will be visible on the East Coast, 75 percent on the West Coast and 100 percent in Western Alaska and Hawaii.

USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 March 11 March 2015

Posted by amedalen in March 2015.
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8 Mar    The bright star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s right is Spica, normally found by beginning with the Big Dipper, arcing to Arcturus and speeding on to Spica. Working backward from Spica, look 3 fist-widths to the upper left to Arcturus in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. Measure another 3 fist-widths to Arcturus’ upper left to the last star in the dipper’s handle, Alkaid. The Big Dipper’s bowl is to the upper left. Can you find Polaris? How about Cassiopeia? Daylight saving time begins at 0200. Spring forward.

10 Mar    Tonight the moon rises just after midnight. It is low in the south before first light, with Saturn 1 fist-width to the left.

12 Mar    Just before dawn, Saturn is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right, and Antares is 4 finger-widths to its lower left.

14 Mar  The moon is above the dome of the Teapot in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 4-10 January 28 December 2014

Posted by amedalen in January 2015.
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4 Jan    Earth is at perihelion, 0.98328 AU away from the sun. Compare that to Earth’s distance of 1.01668 AU from the sun at aphelion on 6 July. An astronomical unit, or AU, is about 150,000,000 km or 93,000,000 miles.

5 Jan    As evening passes, it should be easy to spot the Gemini Twins 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left and Procyon the same distance to the lower right.

6 Jan    High in the east by midnight, Jupiter is about 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left. Procyon is 1½ fist-widths to the upper right.

7 Jan    By midnight, the moon, Jupiter and Regulus form a tight triangle in the east, with Jupiter 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left and Regulus 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The Big Dipper stands on its handle to the left.

8 Jan    Jupiter is directly above the moon low in the east by midnight, and Regulus is to the moon’s upper left.

9 Jan    The moon forms a nearly straight line with Regulus, 1½ fist-widths above, and Jupiter, less than 1 fist-width beyond.

10 Jan    High in the southwest before dawn, the moon lies between Regulus, 2 fist-widths to the right, and Spica, 3½ fist-widths to the left.