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Author Topic: Mercury  (Read 296 times)

Offline Clive

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Mercury
« on: May 20, 2020, 21:46 »
If you have a pair of binoculars you should be able to see a rare appearance of the innermost planet Mercury just after sunset.  Look for the exceptionally bright planet Venus in the western sky and Mercury should be visible below it.  It's surprisingly bright and only 1% of the world's population has seen it. Tomorrow evening they will be even closer. 
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Offline Simon

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 23:08 »
Weren't you a bit late telling us?  Sunset here was about 8:50pm.   :facepalm: :o: ::) ;D
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 10:02 »
I did say after sunset!  You have to wait until the sky gets a little bit dark.  There is a much better opportunity tonight because the two planets are much closer to each
other and Mercury will be higher in the sky.  A great photo opportunity to capture the two innermost planets in the solar system. 
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Offline Simon

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 10:45 »
A challenge for Gill!   :thumbs:
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 10:48 »
If she has clear skies it will make a lovely photo.
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Offline GillE

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 11:28 »
It sounds a bit lit like too much of a challenge for me!  To get a decent photo of the night sky around here you have to wait for the street lighting to switch off at midnight, otherwise there's too much light pollution.  Also the camera's system could be overwhelmed by the brightness of Venus.  On the positive side, there won't be much moonlight.
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 13:36 »
Mercury will have long set by midnight.  You really have a short opportunity after it gets dark because both the planets are heading to the horizon.  Last night I saw Mercury for around 10 minutes before it sank into a layer of cloud which I suspect was pollution from the Port Talbot steel works. 
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 09:07 »
OK so last night was completely cloudy for us but there are still a few chances of seeing it.  Tonight Mercury will be above Venus and to the left.  During the next couple of nights it will move a little farther to the left. In case you are interested, both planets appear between the horns of the bull - the zodiacal constellation Taurus. 
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Offline daveeb

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 09:51 »
OK so last night was completely cloudy for us but there are still a few chances of seeing it.  Tonight Mercury will be above Venus and to the left.  During the next couple of nights it will move a little farther to the left. In case you are interested, both planets appear between the horns of the bull - the zodiacal constellation Taurus. 

I think i'll have a look tonight  :thumb:. I asked mrsDB if there was any chance of a packed lunch and thermos of coffee to keep me going and right after silly me walked into a door and got a black eye  :D

Offline Simon

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 10:03 »
 :laugh:
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 14:11 »
Easily done Dave.   ;D
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2020, 21:09 »
So tonight I can offer a little help to find Mercury.  Sadly, it's no longer as close to Venus as it was but there is a very slender Moon (just 4%) hanging in the sky after sunset tonight and Mercury will be halfway between Venus and the Moon.  It should make a very pretty picture.  Venus will have disappeared from our skies by midweek. 
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Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2020, 09:52 »
Mercury was at the same height as the Moon last night but I was quite shocked to see how low Venus has sunk towards the horizon.  We had lots of thin cloud but the elusive Mercury constantly kept popping in and out of view.  It was best seen through binoculars although it was a naked eye object.  It will be lower in the sky tonight as it too is now heading for the Sun.  I've seen better apparitions of Mercury than this but the problem for me has been cloud and pollution from the nearby steel works which is owned by TATA and don't care what they pump out at night. 
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Offline daveeb

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2020, 11:06 »
Mercury was at the same height as the Moon last night but I was quite shocked to see how low Venus has sunk towards the horizon.  We had lots of thin cloud but the elusive Mercury constantly kept popping in and out of view.  It was best seen through binoculars although it was a naked eye object.  It will be lower in the sky tonight as it too is now heading for the Sun.  I've seen better apparitions of Mercury than this but the problem for me has been cloud and pollution from the nearby steel works which is owned by TATA and don't care what they pump out at night. 

I did try briefly with binoculars but light cloud cover did for it. We're quite high up and relatively free from pollution despite being only a few miles from Leeds city centre so normally the viewing conditions are relatively quite good for the city.

Offline Clive

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Re: Mercury
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2020, 12:37 »
There will be another chance tonight although Mercury will be a bit lower in the sky as it heads towards conjunction with the Sun. 
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