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USPS Star Calendar for 17-23 August 10 August 2014

Posted by amedalen in August 2014.
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17 Aug    This morning, Jupiter rises 5 minutes after Venus, less than a half a finger-width away. High in the southeast before dawn, the last-quarter moon forms a line with 3 first-magnitude stars: magnitude 1.1 Aldebaran 1½ fist-widths to the lower left, magnitude 0.6 Betelgeuse 2 fist-widths beyond Aldebaran, and magnitude 0.5 Procyon 2½ fist-widths farther, near the horizon.

18 Aug    Rising a minute later than Jupiter, Venus slides to Jupiter’s left this morning as they pass within 0.21 degrees. Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the waning crescent moon’s lower left. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above the moon.

19 Aug    Venus quickly falls away from Jupiter. Separated by a half a finger-width, Venus rises 6 minutes after Jupiter. Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths below the moon this morning.

20 Aug    Before dawn Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Procyon is 2½ fist-widths below the moon.

21 Aug    The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s left before dawn. Pollux is the brighter twin. The second-magnitude star 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right is magnitude 1.9 Alhena, also in Gemini. Low in the south early tonight, Mars and Saturn are 1½ fist-widths to the right of Scorpius’ head. Mars is 2 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower right and slides to the left during the next few nights.

22 Aug    The waning crescent moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, a little farther to the upper left. Less than 10 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated.

23 Aug    Rising 1½ hours before the sun, the moon, Venus and Jupiter are clustered within 4 finger-widths near the horizon at first light. Mars is directly below Saturn tonight. The third-magnitude star 1 finger-width to Mars’ upper right is magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi, which represents the top of Libra’s scales.

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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 6-12 January 30 December 2012

Posted by amedalen in January 2013.
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6 Jan    Before first light, look for the waning crescent moon between Saturn, 3 finger-widths to the lower left, and Spica, 1 fist-width to the upper right.

7 Jan    Before dawn, the moon hangs out in the constellation Libra, the Scales. Using binoculars, look for the triangle of stars that make up Libra’s body, the brightest of which is magnitude 2.7 Zubeneschamali (Northern Claw), 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left. Magnitude 3.4 Brachium (sigma Librae) is 3 finger-widths to the lower right, and magnitude 2.9 Zubenelgenubi (Southern Claw) is 2 finger-widths to the upper right, midway between the moon and Saturn.  

8 Jan    Rising 3½ hours before the sun, the waning crescent moon is low in the southeast before first light in the head of the Scorpion, Scorpius. The moon is midway between Saturn, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, and Venus, to the lower left near the horizon. Venus rises a little more than an hour before the sun, so you will need to look quickly before it fades from view.

10 Jan    Rising a little more than an hour before the sun, Venus and the moon are low in the east at first light and fade in the glow of the rising sun. Only 5 percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated. The moon is at perigee, 56.45 earth-radii or 360,000 kilometers away.

11 Jan    New at 1944 UT, the moon rises and sets within a few minutes of the sun.