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thoth II
2010-Apr-08, 12:40 AM
I'm now looking out my west window one hour after sunset and can see the famous pairing (or about 5 degrees apart) of Venus and Mercury. That is the clearest I've seen Mercury and easiest to find next to Venus. They look about 10 degrees above horizon.

I recommend all BAUT people go out there this week and see that sizzling pair!

and a podcast:


http://www.astronomy.ie/audio/

Romanus
2010-Apr-08, 02:16 AM
Talk about synchronicity.

I literally just came in from watching the night sky, puzzling over the bright star next to Venus. I was sure it was some "regular" star, and when I found out it was Mercury I was totally floored. I myself have never, ever seen Mercury this prominent in the evening sky, least of all from ground level; as a plus, the weather is crystal clear and dry from a front that cleared out what had been days of insufferable haze. I told my mother (who also saw it) to count herself lucky, considering many people go their whole lives without seeing this bad boy.

Middenrat
2010-Apr-08, 02:33 AM
This is a red letter day for me, an ordinary bloke with a yen for the cosmos finally eyeballs Mercury!
All I can say is those Ancient Greeks must've had a lot of time on their hands for sitting around on hillsides gazing at pretty sunsets to come up with a backstory for this elusive little bugger.

Sticks
2010-Apr-08, 06:55 AM
Was Mercury the other bright star just above the three oclock position from Venus then?

If so I saw it last night from Kingston Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, around 18:50. How long wil it be in this configuration?

thoth II
2010-Apr-08, 11:14 AM
Yes, that was Mercury , I saw it more about 4 o'clock position, but it would be more like 3 oclock for you since you're further north than me, i'm in florida.

It will only be visible like this probably until April 12 or so.

thoth II
2010-Apr-08, 12:51 PM
Talk about synchronicity.

I literally just came in from watching the night sky, puzzling over the bright star next to Venus. I was sure it was some "regular" star, and when I found out it was Mercury I was totally floored. I myself have never, ever seen Mercury this prominent in the evening sky, least of all from ground level; as a plus, the weather is crystal clear and dry from a front that cleared out what had been days of insufferable haze. I told my mother (who also saw it) to count herself lucky, considering many people go their whole lives without seeing this bad boy.

great.

Yes, Mercury is very hard to see usually, but this time it was very easy, it looks like a bright star to the right of Venus, and it looks pretty much RED! I did not see it since 1989 last time and so it is a rare opportunity:razz:

Sticks
2010-Apr-08, 03:47 PM
The reference on the podcast about this alignment affecting our atmosphere, is that some kind of April Fools wind up?

thoth II
2010-Apr-08, 04:11 PM
The reference on the podcast about this alignment affecting our atmosphere, is that some kind of April Fools wind up?

I was thinking the same thing, because I really think the gravity of Venus and Mercury would be insignificant compared to say, moon-solar gravities on us.

Sticks
2010-Apr-08, 06:56 PM
Annoyingly, we have thick cloud cover tonight :mad:

thoth II
2010-Apr-08, 07:19 PM
Annoyingly, we have thick cloud cover tonight :mad:

Sorry to hear that., but I guess in Britain you get a pretty high chance of clouds. It'll still be good through April 15 I think because the crescent moon is supposed to get close to Mercury on that night. And in Britain it'll be higher in altitude than here in florida.

grant hutchison
2010-Apr-08, 08:32 PM
Was Mercury the other bright star just above the three oclock position from Venus then?Yes, there was a nice view of the pair from my back window here in Scotland, forming a near-horizontal alignment. I found Mercury with binoculars in the twilight glow, and then followed it until it was visible to the naked eye.


If so I saw it last night from Kingston Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, around 18:50.With the sun still up? Or is that a typo for 20:50?

Grant Hutchison

Sticks
2010-Apr-09, 05:01 AM
There was still after glow and it was 18:50 as I was waiting for a meeting of sorts that was at 19:00

grant hutchison
2010-Apr-09, 08:32 PM
There was still after glow and it was 18:50 as I was waiting for a meeting of sorts that was at 19:00But, but ...
I'm confused in some way. The sun set at 8pm in Newcastle today (http://uk.weather.com/climate/sunRiseSunSet-Newcastle-upon-Tyne-UKXX1695). You saw Mercury at 6:50pm a couple of days ago?

Grant Hutchison

Sticks
2010-Apr-09, 10:48 PM
Is that time in GMT or BST?

We are on BST which is one hour ahead

grant hutchison
2010-Apr-09, 11:15 PM
Is that time in GMT or BST?BST. If you take a look at the sunrise and set times for March, you can see where the clocks move forward between 27 and 28 March.


We are on BST which is one hour aheadYes, the sun would be setting around 7pm GMT = 8pm BST. I presume you were working to BST.

Grant Hutchison

Sticks
2010-Apr-10, 05:07 AM
Yes I was working on BST.

I Suspect that it may have been before sunset. Since Venus is nicknamed the evening star as it comes out before the normal stars, it may just have been visible before sunset, but I definitely saw bot planets before 19:00 as I had been waiting for somebody to come an open a building up at 19:00

grant hutchison
2010-Apr-10, 08:48 PM
Mercury in daylight is ... um ... remarkable.

Grant Hutchison

Robert Tulip
2010-Apr-12, 04:12 AM
Was Mercury the other bright star just above the three oclock position from Venus then?

If so I saw it last night from Kingston Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, around 18:50. How long wil it be in this configuration?

You can see the relative positions of Venus and Mercury at http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/98512-Planet-Positions-for-2010

Mercury begins to separate from Venus today. They will both be very close to the new moon in a nice triple conjunction on Friday evening 16 April. Mercury will be conjunct Sun on 30 April.

The 12 August 2010 conjunction is the best this year. Mercury will be conjunct the new Moon, just below a triple conjunction of Mars, Venus and Saturn.

Sticks
2010-Apr-12, 04:46 AM
And the clouds will be on hand to protect us from seeing this :rolleyes:

mahesh
2010-Apr-12, 09:53 AM
Mercury in daylight is ... um ... remarkable.

Grant Hutchison
Indeed, that is so, Sire!

I remember seeing Venus (at least, if not Mercury), much after sunrise too, when my sight was more acute, as an acne'd kid.

I seem to recall a thread here, a year or so ago, where we discussed this same subject of seeing Venus/Mercury and emphasising sight protection. Can't locate the thread, just now, to link

edit:
Thanks Mr Tulip, excellent link.

Har har...funny Sticks.

grant hutchison
2010-Apr-12, 03:40 PM
Indeed, that is so, Sire!

I remember seeing Venus (at least, if not Mercury), much after sunrise too, when my sight was more acute, as an acne'd kid.Venus is a naked eye object all day, when it's near maximum brightness. The difficult bit is finding it. I've done it a couple of times, courtesy of a crescent moon I knew was close to Venus. Tagged it with binoculars, and then found it naked-eye. It's curiously satisfying.

Grant Hutchison

tony873004
2010-Apr-13, 06:41 AM
I've been watching Mercury through a telescope for over a week now as it grew from a tiny gibbous to a crescent tonight. Over the next few nights it will grow larger, with the crescent shape growing more pronounced, before it finally disappears into the twilight. Try putting a telescope on it. The phases are easy to see. Binoculars might even show the crescent in the next few nights.

I’ve seen Mercury many times before, so it surprises me how many people, even in the astro community, claim to have never seen Mercury. It has a synodic period of 116 days, so every 4 months it returns to grace the evening sky for a week or two. Perhaps it’s because most apparitions leave Mercury hidden in the twilight. This particular apparition is exceptional because it occurred in the evening sky within a month of the spring equinox, when the ecliptic makes a very steep angle with the horizon at sunset. This results in most of Mercury's angular distance from the Sun being translated into altitude rather than azimuth. The autumn equinox is best for Mercury apparitions in the morning sky.

voyager75
2010-Apr-16, 10:09 AM
I had a look for mercury last evening, despite the extra haze created by the volcano in Iceland. I started observing at around 20:30 and i finally saw it closer to 21:00 once some clouds cleared. What a sight! My relatively tiny 10x50 binoculars would not reveal any crescent shape but there it was nonetheless. It was also within the same view as the moon, which showed a very thin crescent.

thoth II
2010-Apr-19, 04:07 PM
Yes, I also saw it to the left of the crescent moon. I saw Mercury very bright in last week 5 total times, and it was easy. I doubt I'll ever see it that easily ever again.

thoth II
2011-Mar-16, 10:16 AM
I'm now looking out my west window one hour after sunset and can see the famous pairing (or about 5 degrees apart) of Venus and Mercury. That is the clearest I've seen Mercury and easiest to find next to Venus. They look about 10 degrees above horizon.

I recommend all BAUT people go out there this week and see that sizzling pair!

and a podcast:


http://www.astronomy.ie/audio/

Well ditto above quote updated for March 15, 2011 and replace "Venus" with "Jupiter".

http://palmbeachstate.edu/faculty/sundquij/mercury-jupiter-alignment-2011.png

It was a great sight with Jupiter and Mercury only 2 degrees apart last evening. fantastic sight.

Opimand
2011-Mar-24, 07:48 AM
nice, friendly up !!