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Edward E
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 03/26/06

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Mercury is already visible!
      #5664896 - 02/06/13 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!


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ROBERT FREE
sage
*****

Reged: 03/20/11

Loc: SARASOTA,FL
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Edward E]
      #5665527 - 02/06/13 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.

Edited by ROBERT FREE (02/06/13 03:35 PM)


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Centaur
Vendor
*****

Reged: 07/12/04

Loc: Chicago
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Edward E]
      #5665960 - 02/06/13 08:21 PM

Quote:

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


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sage
*****

Reged: 03/20/11

Loc: SARASOTA,FL
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Centaur]
      #5665969 - 02/06/13 08:29 PM

yup ed.curts graphs are great an informative.

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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: ROBERT FREE]
      #5666099 - 02/06/13 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


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5666141 - 02/06/13 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 .

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azure1961p
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: starrancher]
      #5666160 - 02/06/13 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


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Centaur
Vendor
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Reged: 07/12/04

Loc: Chicago
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: starrancher]
      #5666206 - 02/06/13 11:00 PM

Quote:

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 .




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


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Centaur]
      #5666381 - 02/07/13 01:45 AM

Quote:

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!


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sage
*****

Reged: 03/20/11

Loc: SARASOTA,FL
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5666901 - 02/07/13 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.

Edited by ROBERT FREE (02/07/13 11:28 AM)


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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: ROBERT FREE]
      #5674275 - 02/11/13 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.

Dave Mitsky


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5674626 - 02/11/13 07:00 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

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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Perigny270
super member


Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Temiscaming, Quebec
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Ira]
      #5674649 - 02/11/13 07:20 PM

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

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Aquarellia
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/27/12

Loc: Provence, France
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Perigny270]
      #5675124 - 02/12/13 01:20 AM

Hello guys
Have a look here as well :
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5670599/page...


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Aquarellia]
      #5683022 - 02/16/13 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.

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ROBERT FREE
sage
*****

Reged: 03/20/11

Loc: SARASOTA,FL
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5683828 - 02/16/13 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.

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Richard1949
super member


Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Michigan, USA
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5685120 - 02/17/13 12:24 PM

Quote:

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!


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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Richard1949]
      #5685172 - 02/17/13 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.

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sage
*****

Reged: 03/20/11

Loc: SARASOTA,FL
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5685390 - 02/17/13 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.com/ephemeris/sun/sun2013.html


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Edward E
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/26/06

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Mercury is already visible! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5688596 - 02/19/13 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.

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