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USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 December 1 December 2013

Posted by amedalen in December 2013.
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9 Dec    The first-quarter moon is high in the south at sunset. Look for Fomalhaut 3 fist-widths below, near the horizon.

10 Dec    Venus reaches its brightest for the year at magnitude –4.9.

11 Dec    The waxing gibbous moon spends the evening traversing the southern sky setting well after midnight. About two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

14 Dec    Rising an hour before sunset, the moon is low in the southeast in the early evening. The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the upper left and Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the Bull, is more than 1 fist-width to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 14-20 April 7 April 2013

Posted by amedalen in April 2013.
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14 Apr    The waxing crescent moon is less than 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s left or upper left at dusk.

15 Apr    Three prominent constellations surround the moon tonight: Orion to the lower left, Gemini to the upper left and Taurus to the lower right. Home to the navigational star Capella, the lesser-known constellation Auriga, the Charioteer, is to the moon’s upper right. The moon is at apogee, 63.48 Earth-radii, or 405,000 kilometers, away. The equation of time is zero, which means sundial (apparent solar) time and mean solar time are the same.

16 Apr    Gemini’s brightest stars, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths above the moon tonight. Magnitude 1.9 Alhena is 1 finger-width below the moon. Less than a third of the moon’s surface is illuminated

17 Apr    The waxing crescent moon lies midway between magnitude 1.2 Pollux, 1 fist-width to the upper right, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon, to the lower left.

18 Apr    Procyon is a little more than 1 fist-width to the first-quarter moon’s lower right, and magnitude 1.3 Regulus is 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

20 Apr    Regulus is less than 3 finger-widths above or to the upper left of the waxing gibbous moon, high in the south at dusk. About two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 20-26 January 13 January 2013

Posted by amedalen in January 2013.
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20 Jan    Late this evening, the Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths to the waxing gibbous moon’s upper left high in the south. Magnitude -2.6 Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the left.

21 Jan    The moon passes within less than 1 degree of Jupiter tonight.

22 Jan    Orion stands below the moon tonight. About 80 percent illuminated, the moon is at apogee, 63.55 earth-radii or 405,000 kilometers away.

23 Jan    Notable constellations surround the moon this evening: Orion to the lower right, Gemini to the left or lower left, Taurus to the right or upper right, and Auriga to the upper left or above. Home to Capella, Auriga, the Charioteer, is often depicted carrying a goat and a couple of kids.

24 Jan    The moon is more than 90 percent illuminated tonight. The Gemini Twins are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s right, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon is 1½ fist-widths below the moon.

25 Jan    The moon is midway between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and the Gemini Twins, to the upper left.

26 Jan    Rising within a few minutes of sunset and setting shortly before sunrise, tonight’s full moon is known as the Old Moon. Procyon is 1½ fist widths to the moon’s right or upper right. The Gemini Twins are nearly 2 fist-widths above the moon, and Regulus is 2 fist-widths to the lower left.

USPS Star Calendar for 3 to 9 April 27 March 2011

Posted by amedalen in April 2011.
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3 Apr    New moon at 1432 UT

6 Apr    The Pleiades Cluster is 3 finger-widths above the waxing crescent moon in the west at sunset. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

7 Apr    The Pleiades Cluster is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight. Magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran is the same distance to the left, and Orion is farther left. Using binoculars, try to spot the two magnitude 4.4 stars to the moon’s upper left, kappa Tauri and upsilon Tauri.

8 Apr    Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus, the Bull, is 1 fist-width below the moon at sunset. Magnitude 1.8 Elnath is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right, and magnitude 3.0 zeta Tauri is 3 finger-widths to its upper left. Orion is to the lower left. About 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

9 Apr    High in the west at sunset, magnitude 0.2 Capella is 2.5 fist-widths to the waxing crescent moon’s right, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon is the same distance to its upper left. The Gemini Twins are 2 fist-widths above the moon, and Orion is to the lower left. About 25 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

USPS Star Calendar for 6 to 12 March 27 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in March 2011.
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6 Mar     At evening twilight, the thin crescent moon is 2 finger-widths to the right of magnitude -2.1 Jupiter low in the west. Less than five percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at apogee, nearly 252,898 miles or 63.75 Earth-radii away.

7 Mar     The waxing crescent moon is 1 fist-width above Jupiter tonight.

8 Mar     This evening, look 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right to find the navigational star magnitude 2.2 Hamal in the constellation Aries, the Ram. One finger-width below Hamal, you should be able to see magnitude 2.7 Sheratan. Using your binoculars, see if you can spot magnitude 4.8 gamma 1 Arietis. Today is Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), the day before Lent begins.

10 Mar    The Pleiades Cluster is only 1 finger-width above the moon tonight. Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, is 1 fist-width to the upper left. Orion lies beyond Taurus. Use your binoculars. About one-fourth of the moon’s surface is illuminated. Today is Ash Wednesday.

11 Mar    Aldebaran is only 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the lower right. About one-third of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

12 Mar    The bright star 2 fist-widths to the right or upper right of the moon is magnitude 0.2 Capella. The navigational star magnitude 1.8 Elnath is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right in line with Capella. Using your binoculars, see if you can find magnitude 3.0 zeta Tauri, 1 finger-width left of the moon. First-quarter moon at 2345 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 13 to 19 February 6 February 2011

Posted by amedalen in February 2011.
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13 Feb    The moon is surrounded by major constellations tonight. Gemini is to the left, Taurus is to the right, and Orion is below. More than two-thirds of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

14 Feb    Tonight the moon is in the middle of the constellation Gemini, the Twins. More than three-fourths of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

15 Feb    The waxing gibbous moon lies between the Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, 1 fist-width to the upper left, and Procyon to the lower right. Regulus is far to the lower left, and the Big Dipper stands on its handle farther left.

16 Feb    The moon is midway between Procyon, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Regulus to the lower left. More than 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

17 Feb    Regulus and the nearly full moon rise at sunset. Regulus is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s left.

18 Feb    Regulus is 1½ fist-widths above the moon tonight. Rising 2 to 3 hours before midnight, Saturn is far to the moon’s lower left. Full Snow Moon at 0836 UT

19 Feb    Saturn is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left late tonight. The moon is at perigee, about 222,451 miles or 56.17 Earth-radii away.