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CentaurZ

Mercury as Winter Evening Star

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13 hours ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

Are there any clubs or groups that get out to darker areas around Melbourne that you know of. Perhaps I could blag a peek through a scope when I am there.

They are a bit thin on the ground here, and I haven't been to any of them myself to my shame. The old Melbourne Observatory might interest you, they still have the original huge refractor being used but must suffer from terrible light pollution....

https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-melbourne/attractions/melbourne-observatory

If you look on the map I posted in the very bottom right corner is Mount Burnett which has club meetings and dark skies...

https://mbo.org.au/

The Mornington Peninsula Astro Society would be the closest to visit... 

http://www.mpas.asn.au/

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15 hours ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Did you use any filters to see the half disc? My old brief look at Mercury so far was a bright multicoloured "star"  kind of like what Venus looks like but lot more colour.  As with Venus I assume it requires a filter to resolve?

Thank you

Baz

No filter, apart from a tree, but reasonably high magnification, 250x. As it got lower it got mushier and mushier, more atmosphere and more twigs I guess. The half disc was discernible early on, when twilight was still reasonably bright. I guess the fact it was against a bluish sky acted as a filter in its own right.

My advice for say tomorrow would be to start as soon as the sun goes down...

M

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I've seen Mercury with the naked eye in earlier apparitions. It is easier to spot if you know exactly where to look.

As for Pluto, mentioned above, this minor planet will be nearly impossible to see visually.  It is very faint, requiring a large telescope, and at that magnitude there are hundreds of brighter stars in the field. After several attempts, I managed to log Pluto using a 4" refractor, camera, platesolving and star charts.  

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Mercury was easily seen with the naked eye this evening. I have observed it twice in the last few days using 15x70 and 7x50 binos. However, much as its lovely to see and view it I wanted more detail using a scope.

I set up my Heritage 130P + TeleVue 8-24 zoom + Baader 2.25X barlow. Using various mags from 61x to a maximum of 183x I saw a phase of about 50%. After rain during the day the image was pretty stable so a good session before it set.

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I've seen it on successive nights now with binoculars but I'd have to take a scope upstairs to see it and that's not really feasible just now.

Nice to see it with binoculars anyway.

 

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I managed to see it either Friday or Saturday before the storm. The sky was clear enough tonight but I struggled to find it unfortunately. I would really like to spend a bit of time on Mercury if the chance presents itself. The opportunity doesn't seem to come along to often.

 

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After today you’ll increasingly need to use a scope rather than naked eye, as although it’s at max elongation it’s now swinging round towards us and hence rapidly waning, ie getting more and more of a crescent. More difficult to spot to start with but more rewarding if you can find it!

Next chance will be June...

 

B9CB9E84-09EA-4BF3-8B66-22CE8DAF5D2E.jpeg

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Lots of moving cloud but I was able to pick up Mercury with the 7x50 binoculars. Tried to see it with the naked eye but failed.

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No chance here, overlooking the Eden Valley.

Heavy showers interspersed with cloud. And a cold gale still blowing.

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