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Mercury worth observing?


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Hello all,

I looked out of my bedroom window this morning to see the alignment of Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

I have never looked at Mercury with my scope before. Is there anything to look at of interest? Is it worth getting my scope out in the early hours to have a look?


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I tried this with my 6" Short tube Refrac from my bathroom window which gives me the sea as my horizon. As the sun wasn't to far below it was seriously twinkling, but had a few little moments when I could see the planetary disk To make sure that I wasn't stargazing I even looked at Venus which also had major twinkling issues!! Is this normal?? should I have gotten up a little earlier and bagged it before it started to get light for a better view?

I only have neptune to do next then that's all the Major Planets bagged

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I've never been drawn much to bother viewing Venus and Mercury through scopes given the total lack of detail to be seen. The phases are really the only thing to view. However Venus does go down as the first planet I ever observed with a 40mm refactor I was given at about 12 years old. I just looked for the brightest first thing to point the scope at and then was amazed to see that 'star' resolve as a mini half moon!

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  • 9 months later...

  Rekindling my love for "everything up there", and have just read this thread.

I love observing Mercury, and have made quite a few sketches of the planet.

 In April 2002, I was invited to take part in a ProAm colaberation. At times there is definately albedo features aparent on the disc. Enhanced with the use of Wratten Red 23A filters.

  Here is the report form I submitted, that was eventually published in the journal report concerning the event. 


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Those notes and the sketch are terrific Eddie  :smiley:

Targets like Mercury are tough to observe and can seem to offer little other than a "tick in the box" for having seen it but I think your post shows what can be achieved with some dedication  :smiley:

Personally I find the planet fascinating to observe although I've not yet been able to make out anything like the details that you have picked out.

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