Mercury mar-april update
Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:50 AM
Mercury reaches its greatest elongation on the 31st, when it lies 27.8° west of the Sun. Early risers may catch a brief view of the planet in the pre-dawn sky, about 30 minutes before sunrise and only 5° above the eastern horizon. Binoculars could prove useful for spotting it against the bright twilight.
Of the famous five naked-eye planets, Mercury can sometimes be the second brightest, outshining all stars, and can
often be the planet closest to Earth – and yet it has been seen by remarkably few people! This is because Mercury, the innermost planet of the solar system, can never depart more than 28° from the Sun as seen from our point of view.
however,it can always be picked up earlier in daylite with at least an 8"scope cause of its faintness at that time.it wont be until april 10th or so to see any phase changes and rare markings on its surface. of course it will be hard for northern observers to see it in the early morning low in the east before sunrise around april ist but again can be picked up much better high in the sky with much better contrast in broad daylite.an orange 21 filter helps bigtime and an equatorial mount with setting circles an clock drive are a must but its really not hard at all to spot it.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:23 PM
I did make a preview graphic for the current morning apparition: www.CurtRenz.com/mercury . Usually I provide a heads-up thread here, but didn't bother this time because it's a rather poor apparition for observers north of the tropics. However, the May-June evening apparition will be the best one of 2013 for us northerners.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:26 PM
Posted 13 March 2013 - 02:59 PM
Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:09 AM
Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:13 PM
Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:09 AM