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USPS Star Calendar for 8-14 September 1 September 2013

Posted by amedalen in September 2013.
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8 Sep    Venus is now to Spica’s upper left, and the thin waxing crescent moon is less than 1 finger-width to Venus’ left. All three occupy a 1½-finger-width diameter circle.

9 Sep    Magnitude 0.7 Saturn is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s right. Less than 20 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

11 Sep    The moon is 3 finger-widths above Antares, the red-orange heart of Scorpius.

12 Sep    First-quarter moon at 1708 UT

13 Sep    The waxing gibbous moon is above the Teapot constellation Sagittarius. 

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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 26 May-1 June 19 May 2013

Posted by amedalen in June 2013, May 2013.
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26 May    Tonight Jupiter slips lower and Mercury climbs higher; within 3 degrees of each other, they form a tight triangle with Venus. By tomorrow morning, they fit within a 2.43-degree diameter circle. The moon is at perigee, 56.19 Earth-radii, or 358,000 kilometers, away. Perigee occurs 21 hours after the full moon, so expect extreme tides.

27 May    Jupiter and Venus stand side by side ½ finger-width apart tonight. Mercury has climbed to the upper right. Before dawn, the moon stands above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the southwest.

28 May    Jupiter slips to Venus’ lower left, and Mercury continues to climb.

29 May    Before dawn, look 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right to find magnitude 0.9 Altair.

30 May    Mercury climbs higher, and Jupiter sinks lower, forming a nearly straight line with Venus 3 finger-widths long.

31 May    Last-quarter moon at 1858 UT

1 Jun    The waning crescent moon rises 4 hours before the sun and is high in the southeast at first light.

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 14-20 October 7 October 2012

Posted by amedalen in October 2012.
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14 Oct    Following a line from the Big Dipper’s pointer stars through and beyond Polaris brings us to Cassiopeia, the Lazy W constellation. In Greek mythology, she was the wife of King Cepheus and mother of Andromeda. In Roman myth, Cassiopeia was chained to her throne as punishment for her boastfulness. To Arab astronomers, Cassiopeia’s stars formed the main part of the Camel constellation.

17 Oct    The moon is at perigee, 56.55 Earth-radii (361,000 kilometers) away.

18 Oct    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude 1.2 Mars is 3 finger-widths to the thin, waxing crescent moon’s lower right. Less than 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower left sits its red rival, magnitude 1.1 Antares. Using binoculars, compare their colors. Don’t dally, because they sink below the horizon within two hours of sunset.

19 Oct    Low in the southwest at dusk, the waxing crescent moon is just above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. Arab astronomers saw these stars as ostriches on their way to drink from the Milky Way. The moon’s surface is 20 percent illuminated.

20 Oct    Having moved to the left, the moon is above the handle of the Teapot. The star 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left is magnitude 2.1 Nunki.

USPS Star Calendar for 1-7 July 24 June 2012

Posted by amedalen in July 2012.
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1 Jul    Rising 2 hours before sunset, the moon and Antares will be low in the south after sunset with Antares 1 fist-width to the moon’s right. More than 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at perigee, 56.81 Earth-radii (362,000 kilometers) away from the earth. Reaching its greatest elongation, 25.7 degrees east of the sun, Mercury is low in the west at nightfall, setting 1½ hours after the sun. With a clear view of the western horizon, you can see it easily as the sky darkens.

2 Jul    Rising an hour before sunset, the moon sits above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, late tonight.

5 Jul    Earth reaches aphelion, its farthest distance from the sun, at 0400 UT. We are almost 5 million kilometers (more than 3 million miles) farther from the sun than at perihelion on 3 Jan.

6 Jul    In the southwest before dawn, the moon is between Altair, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Fomalhaut, the same distance to the lower left.

7 Jul    Jupiter, Venus and Aldebaran form a nearly vertical line before dawn, with Jupiter at the top, Venus 2 finger-widths below and Aldebaran another ½ finger-width beyond.

USPS Star Calendar for 7-13 August 31 July 2011

Posted by amedalen in August 2011.
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7 Aug    Tonight use binoculars to spot at least three stars between the moon and Arcturus, 2 finger-widths to the lower left. [Binoculars]

8 Aug    Arcturus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right or lower right tonight.

9 Aug    The waxing gibbous moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation. Nearly 90 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

10 Aug    The moon rises to Sagittarius’ left 2 hours before sunset. After twilight, they are in the southeast.

11 Aug    The nearly full moon rises a little more than an hour before sunset. Soon after sunset, look for magnitude 0.9 Altair 2.5 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

13 Aug    Full moon at 1857 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 7 to 13 November 31 October 2010

Posted by amedalen in November 2010.
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7 Nov
Look low in the west at dusk to see the moon between magnitude 1.4 Mars, 1 finger-width to the upper right, and magnitude 1.1 Antares, less than 1 finger-width to the lower left. But look quickly, because they set only an hour after the sun. Compare the color of Mars and its rival, Antares, the heart of the Scorpion. Daylight saving time ends this morning. Use binoculars.

9 Nov
The waxing crescent moon is just above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius.

10 Nov
In the eastern sky, magnitude -4.4 Venus is high enough to be easily visible before sunrise. Magnitude 1.2 Spica is 2 finger-widths to its upper right. Use binoculars.

13 Nov
Look high in the south at dusk to spot magnitude 3.1 Sadalsuud, 2 to 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right. Use binoculars to find magnitude 4.8 xi Aquarii midway between them. Then look 3 finger-widths below the moon to see magnitude 3.0 Deneb Algedi. First-quarter moon at 1639 UT. Use binoculars.

USPS Star Calendar for 10 to 16 October 3 October 2010

Posted by amedalen in October 2010.
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10 Oct
The moon is midway between magnitude 1.5 Mars to the lower right and magnitude 1.1 Antares to the upper left. Compare the color of Mars and its rival, Antares, the heart of the Scorpion. Use binoculars.

11 Oct
Antares is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight.

12 Oct
The moon is above the tail of the Scorpion this evening, and Sagittarius is to the lower left.

13 Oct
The moon is left of the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius.

14 Oct
Magnitude 0.9 Altair is 3 fist-widths above or to the upper right of the moon tonight. First-quarter moon at 2127 UT

USPS Star Calendar for 12 to 18 September 5 September 2010

Posted by amedalen in September 2010.
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13 Sep
Antares
is 1 finger-width to the moon’s left low in the south tonight. Try to spot magnitude 3.1 sigma Scorpii one-half degree to the moon’s lower left and magnitude 4.8 omicron Scorpii above the moon. Use binoculars.

14 Sep
The moon is above the tail of Scorpius this evening.

15 Sep
The moon is to the upper right of the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. First-quarter moon at 0550 UT

16 Sep
Sagittarius
is to the lower right of the moon.

17 Sep
The moon is low in the south early this evening. Look 3 fist-widths above or to the upper right for magnitude 0.9 Altair in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. Sagittarius is to the lower right.