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kerrylewis

Venus and Mercury now

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The sky was clear to the horizon so set up the Heritage 130P with TeleVue 8-24 zoom and Baader Classic 2.25X barlow. Started with the Moon and viewed the various craters along the terminator. Next up Venus - almost full and then Mercury about 25% illumination. My EPs/Barlow gives a max mag of about 182x in the Heritage although best about 120x.

 

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Posted (edited)

After spotting them in the only clear sky for some time I took this from an upstairs window at about 7pm. A 4 second exposure hence the fuzziness in the foreground birch :) 

52E5247B-6CC1-4CBB-842F-3626904441F8.thumb.png.53f11627223a0e609646acdf2addbd20.png

Edited by Scooot
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I finally managed to find a western horizon without any low cloud banks tonight and got a quick look at Mercury and Venus before they dipped below the treeline at the end of the garden.

I'm pleased that I managed to see them but was a bit disappointed that I didn't manage to get a scope on them, only a pair of 8 X 40s.

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Posted (edited)

Got another look at Venus and Mercury tonight also. Didn't realise the Moon would be up, so a nice surprise when I opened the upstairs blinds. Scanned up Venus in the 10x50s at 18:50 and saw it naked eye at 18:52. Kept scanning for Mercury for a few mins, then checked for its position on Stellarium on my phone. Then scanned it with the binos at 19:04. Tried for Mercury with the naked eye, and finally was sure of its visibility by 19:15.

 

It was interesting to note the difference in horizon position and visibility in the twilight compared to last week. A bit further north along the horizon, and half an hour later for similar visibility, although Mercury seems fainter. The thin crescent Moon was a bonus, with nice earthshine seen at 19:30, after Venus had dipped below the roofline I was observing over.

 

The pics above capture the scene nicely. A nice start to a couple of hours scanning some winter favorites with the binocs and the Heritage. Who knows when the next clear night will be. And by Jove, 'tis nippy out!

Edited by trynda1701
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After a year and a half of observing I finally saw Mercury earlier this evening for the first time. For once there was no cloud on the western horizon but I still had to go to my loft to get a good view. I saw it using binoculars to begin with and then watched it naked eye after a while. I can't really say that the planet has been elusive as there is so much to see in the sky that hunting down Mercury hasn't been a priority. It was great to see it tonight though as it completes my set of solar system planets - thank you Professor Mike Brown of Caltech. I made the most of it by watching it for about an hour as it set behind a hill while the stars came out across the sky. As others have said together with the Moon and Venus it made a pretty sight.

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Posted (edited)

It's been a fantastic month for Mercury. Last year I went to great lengths (drove a bit) to find a horizon low enough to see Mercury for my first time. This year...it's just there.

Edited by elliot
fatfingers
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8 hours ago, David Levi said:

After a year and a half of observing I finally saw Mercury earlier this evening for the first time. For once there was no cloud on the western horizon but I still had to go to my loft to get a good view. I saw it using binoculars to begin with and then watched it naked eye after a while. I can't really say that the planet has been elusive as there is so much to see in the sky that hunting down Mercury hasn't been a priority. It was great to see it tonight though as it completes my set of solar system planets - thank you Professor Mike Brown of Caltech. I made the most of it by watching it for about an hour as it set behind a hill while the stars came out across the sky. As others have said together with the Moon and Venus it made a pretty sight.

Congratulations of capturing the last of the planets.

Next challenge ... well, there are five dwarf planets .... :icon_biggrin:

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Just been out with the scope. Just make out Mercury was a planet  @182 x in my 4" Refractor.

Venus was very bright . Looking through all the gloom , Mercury looked like a very small  orange.  

 

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Similar views for me at 150x this evening.

I also grabbed this at sunset, it was a corker.

 

 

Sunset planets.jpg

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My 5 year old saw me looking out the window and then excitedly announced “I see something”. Took me a second to catch up. “That’s Venus” I told him. He responded with “There are no stars out yet”. I was very pleased that he knew the distinction between stars and planets in the sky. He then went off to tell his mother that he’d seen Venus. I caught both Venus and Mercury in the bins after that. Lovely Moon again too

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Just had a look earlier at both. First time I have seen Mercury through a scope 😁

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2 hours ago, Moonshane said:

First time I have seen Mercury through a scope

Me too. After seeing Mercury for the first time ever last night from my loft I took the telescope tonight to a dark sky site with low horizons and saw it through a telescope for the first time. At 125x magnification it appeared as a less than half-Mercury crescent.

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Mercury is just that bit too far north for me to get the scope on it during this apparition, but congratulations to David & Moonshane on your first telescopic view of out innermost planet.

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Posted (edited)

Managed this pic of the moon, Mercury and Venus Monday night in Oxford quite happy with this image one of my first attempts

IMG_2402[1].JPG

Edited by Knev
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Very nice, Knev. Captures the naked eye view perfectly.:headbang:

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