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#1 Edward E

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Last evening I was able to see Mercury as I walked home from work here in Tucson, AZ. It is a bright, orange star shinning through the bright but failing salmon-orange twilight. As it became darker I was also able to spot Mars to the upper left of Mercury. A weather system is moving in so that may be it for seeing Mars and Mercury together in the evening sky. This is going to be a very nice evening showing of Mercury.

Right now Venus and Mercury are ~ the same apparent distance from the Sun (seen from Earth) just on opposite sides of the Sun. I see Venus deep in the brightning dawn as I await the morning bus and now seen Mercury in the failing twilight of evening; very neat!

#2 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

very good,a nice pair of high powered binocs or small scope an you would see merc as a gibbous phase like the moon,an in a few days it will be half.but its still nice to spot with the naked eye.nice report ed n clear skies.but i see you got a 20" dob,yikes would love to see merc in that big scope. :shocked:

#3 Centaur

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

This is going to be a very nice evening showing of Mercury.


Indeed, Edward, it is. However for northern hemisphere observers, the May-June evening apparition will be slightly better. The difference is that during its current apparition, Mercury swings through its perihelion. I've written an article and created related graphics and data that can be seen at: www.CurtRenz.com/mercury

#4 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

yup ed.curts graphs are great an informative.

#5 azure1961p

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:55 PM

This is a target I kind of give up on. Similar to looking for the Pup near Sirius. The seeing in CT this time of year is notoriously bad and what's more the added penalty of low elevation makes it even more difficult. I've got great respect for anyone who goes for this object but I have trouble seeing Jupiter at the zenith in anything but 5/10 seeing. Mercury is something like a 1-2/10 or worse. Sirius, usually 4/10 or worse.

Still some folks make excellent observations of this challenging orb.

Pete

#6 starrancher

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:14 PM

I've only tried for Mercury a few times ever . And got real lucky on an eastern elongation a couple years back where seeing was unbelievably steady way down there . A nice crisp crescent . It's really just a smaller version of Venus . The thrill being in just the ability to catch it at a rare chance that produces an image worth looking at . You never know when you might catch that lucky break .

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

I've seen its phase effect but the distortion. It is like a smaller Venus in appearance though not so white. Thanks Mr. Rancher!!

Pete

#8 Centaur

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:00 PM

The thrill being in just the ability to catch it at a rare chance that produces an image worth looking at . You never know when you might catch that lucky break .


It’s rather like the motivation for birdwatchers: the satisfaction that comes from chalking up infrequent sightings.

#9 Rick Woods

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:45 AM

However for northern hemisphere observers, the May-June evening apparition will be slightly better.


Come to Arizona in May-June and see if you still think so! :p

#10 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:27 AM

try looking at in daylite,im looking at it right now 11.21 am est from fla an i can easily make out the phase almost in half coming from gibbous.but at about 3pm (aft)here when it highest pt in sky the image gets noticably sharp an i can use 275x to 350 an its a a great site.at about 4pm i look at jupiter an the bands stand out nice an get better each minute.my drawings are mercury will be available in a week or so as the phase changesan hope maybe to see some markings though rare.

#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

While on my way to the best "local" (a 90 minute drive) dark site on Saturday evening, I pulled over to have a look at Mercury. It was just above a ridgetop and was easily visible to the naked-eye. I scanned the area with an 8x42 binocular but Mars, which was below Mercury, probably had slipped behind the ridgetop, by the time I'd found a safe place to stop.

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#12 Ira

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

Hurry on over to my observing spot in the high desert in Israel and we can see this tomorrow.

Photo taken 2/11/13 @14:15 UT; 28 hour old new moon with Mercury to the lower left and the dome of the Weiss Observatory 40-inch reflector to the right.

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#13 Perigny270

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 07:20 PM

Nice picture Ira! Love that moon with Mercury nearby. Thanks for posting it.

#14 Aquarellia

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:20 AM

Hello guys
Have a look here as well :
http://www.cloudynig...5670599/page...

#15 Qwickdraw

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

Alright, This evening is will be the first serious attempt to scope Mercury in my 20 years of astronomy. Have been without a scope for the last 10 years but I am back with one again. A 4" refractor and a 8" newt. Looking at clear skies for mich it should hopefully be visible. It is also a bonus that tonight it should be at max elongation. Mercury is the last planet that I have not observed and have really never made a valid attempt at it visually or through a scope. It is now a priority for me and on my bucket list.

#16 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

thats great good luck.try sweeping the sky as early as possible as it looks much better in daylite-twilite about 10-15 deg to left east of he sun as the sun is going down.use your finder.its pretty bright so you should find it.

#17 Richard1949

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:24 PM

Alright, This evening is will be the first serious attempt to scope Mercury in my 20 years of astronomy. Have been without a scope for the last 10 years but I am back with one again. A 4" refractor and a 8" newt. Looking at clear skies for mich it should hopefully be visible. It is also a bonus that tonight it should be at max elongation. Mercury is the last planet that I have not observed and have really never made a valid attempt at it visually or through a scope. It is now a priority for me and on my bucket list.


I finally spotted it in March 2011. Saw it in the finder first, then the telescope, finally the naked eye. Looked like a tiny, half lit moon even with though it was distorted being so close to the horizon. It was a great thrill to finally catch it. You will experience the same thrill, so good luck!

#18 Qwickdraw

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

Last night was a loss. The clouds rolled in and it was snowing a good part of the day. So far, today seems totally sunny. Hopefully it will stay this way until dusk and I will try again.

#19 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

if you have setting circles and an equatorial mount,you could offset from the sun an find it,and you will get much better contrast an appreciate it more,i still have it in my scope from 12 noon till now tracking it an its less than 1/2 an nearing crescent.an orange 21 filter really helps also.
http://astropixels.c...un/sun2013.html

#20 Edward E

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

Mercury is a very predominate object in the early evening sky as seen from Tucson, AZ. Saturday, I was at the Astronomy Mag Star Party at Pima Community College East with my Celestron 11 GPS scope stopped down to 4" clear aperture with a 11" sun shade. In the 14mm Meade UWA eyepiece Mercury was a slightly crescent shaped white object just slightly smaller than Venus. Visitors were amazed that they could see it in the daytime. Had some very nice views till ~ 15:00 when Mercury was getting to low for good viewing.

#21 LivingNDixie

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Caught a naked eye observation on Sunday night. Like others have said it is pretty easy to see.

#22 Edward E

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

Here is a graphical impression of the views from last Saturday of the Sun, Mercury & Venus made from quick sketches on site and rendered using Win 7 Paint program.

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#23 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

very nice report,an yes many dont realize that you can see it in broad daylite.an right on slightly crescent.today its getting much dimmer an getting difficult to see in daylite but crescent thinning.

#24 ROBERT FREE

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:14 PM

nice pic edward,i like that.

#25 eps0mu0

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:27 AM

After seeing Mercury visually a few times last week, I finally managed to get a camera and a tripod out somewhere with an unobstructed Western horizon. Difficult to find until ~18:30, when it just "popped" into visibility. I guess just the right combination of darkening sky, brightness of Mercury, and altitude above the horizon.
This photo was taken at 18:45 PST somewhere in Sunnyvale, CA (SF Bay Area), with a Nikon D40x. Zoom lens set at 66mm fl, f5. ISO200, 2s exposure.

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