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View Full Version : Mercury as Late Winter Evening Star



Centaur
2012-Feb-15, 02:16 AM
Mercury is about to begin its finest apparition this year as an evening star for northern hemisphere observers, following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2012 FEB 07. This apparition will conclude with the planet’s inferior conjunction between Earth and Sun on MAR 21.

My detailed article describing Mercury’s late winter evening apparition appears under the links for my related graphics at www.CurtRenz.com/mercury

Photos and descriptions of Mercury during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.

slang
2012-Feb-15, 10:58 PM
Someone clever should mix those nice graphs and Google Streetview to show where Mercury rises above the brick horizon.

Centaur
2012-Mar-03, 08:25 PM
Someone clever should mix those nice graphs and Google Streetview to show where Mercury rises above the brick horizon.

I had to leave something for you to do for us, Slang. Tomorrow (March 4) Mercury will be at this apparition's greatest eastern elongation of 18.2°. The same day it will be in dichotomy, i.e. 50% illuminated like a Half Moon. Afterward it will appear as a crescent. On March 5 it will be at its greatest altitude at 30 minutes after sunset as viewed from Chicagoland of 11.4°.

slang
2012-Mar-04, 11:31 AM
I had to leave something for you to do for us, Slang.

Your confidence in my cleverness is appreciated! Thanks for the heads-up, Curt!

agingjb
2012-Mar-04, 10:41 PM
Managed to spot Mercury this evening - and needed binoculars (and although the planet should have shown up once I knew where it was).

This apparition (is that the word) seems to have been rather difficult for me (even allowing for tricky weather and a lot of trees around our house). In previous times I've had no trouble, even spotting the planet by accident, while driving, when there was a closeish conjunction with Venus. Eyesight I suppose, my natural focus has drifted beyond infinity, and I wasn't using glasses when I put the binoculars down.