View Full Version : Mercury

Brady Yoon
2004-May-05, 05:07 AM
When will Mercury be easily visible to Northern hemisphere viewers again? (34 degrees N latitude, close to Los Angeles)

2004-May-05, 05:12 AM
Mercury will be visible for the next month or so if you're up at 4:30 in the morning. You'll have to wait until July for Mercury to be visible in the evening.

Brady Yoon
2004-May-05, 05:44 AM
Thanks. What's its magnitude now?

2004-May-05, 10:08 AM
Thanks. What's its magnitude now?
1.3 or so. That'll improve by a whole magnitude over the next week or so, but viewing is not easy. This time of the year, the ecliptic is more inclined to the horizon at sunrise, so the sun is not that far behind Mercury--plus Mercury is below the ecliptic now, making the matter worse. Mercury rises less than an hour before the Sun and it doesn't get much better, whereas just a couple months ago, when it was "easy" to see Mercury, Mercury set more than an hour and a half after sunset. Then, the ecliptic was more perpendicular, and Mercury was above it. Unfortunately, the next evening viewing of Mercury will be when the ecliptic is inclined, though not as much as it is now.

2004-May-05, 11:56 AM
Oh good. I missed it last month, due to there being too many trees and not enough hills near school. I can't see Mercury in the morning from my location (and frankly, getting up any earlier than I currently do would require someone to be shot), but I can look forward to it next month.

I really wanted to see it last month...