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Mercury as a Springtime Evening Star


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Elusive Mercury has commenced its apparition in the western sky after sunset following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2021 APR 18. This will be its most favorable apparition of the year for observers north of the tropics.

Photos and descriptions of Mercury during this apparition would be welcome additions to this thread.

 

Mercury-App.JPG.2277d7f784041a98ab099478357d191c.JPG

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Elusive Mercury has commenced its apparition in the western sky after sunset following its superior conjunction behind the Sun on 2021 APR 18. This will be its most favorable apparition of the year fo

Similar experience to @Nik271 this evening. Once I spotted in the 10x50s it became easy to see naked eye. 

I was lucky with the clouds today and had a longish (30 mins) session observing Mercury over the houses next door. First I found it with 10x50 bins just before 9pm and by 9:15pm it was easily visible

Posted Images

I spotted Mercury in my 10x50bins Thursday night. It seemed really bright in the Bins but I couldn’t see it naked eye. Looking forward to catching it with Venus later in the month 

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Just been out with the dogs up the lane to an elevated position and could clearly see Mercury naked eye.

It is sometimes a tricky object and counter intuitive as you are looking for a small bright object, low to the horizon in the brightest part of the sky. At the same time the brightest stars are not bright enough to show in the darkest part of the sky.

It took a couple of minutes to find it as the sky was so clear that there was no distant object to focus on. I find myself looking at the most distant horizon then switching to sky. I think of it as autofocus with a camera having nothing solid to rangefinder to.

The other odd thing is when you find it, you cannot understand why it was so hard to find in the first place. “Look at that really bright planet just there” and no one else can see it without holding fingers in the air and saying things like “three thumbs above the second to last telephone pole, after the water tower”

All gets a bit complicated.

Marv

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I was lucky with the clouds today and had a longish (30 mins) session observing Mercury over the houses next door. First I found it with 10x50 bins just before 9pm and by 9:15pm it was easily visible naked eye. I even had time to snap a few pictures:

around 9pm, when it was not easy to see:

IMG_9949.thumb.JPG.2a1375ca0a126374457990d821954251.JPG

And by 9:15pm it was obvious:

IMG_9955.thumb.JPG.58ea3651cd865f05e02d0098f7de95c3.JPG

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Posted (edited)

Finally, at 21:35 clear skies to the west, and Mercury high enough to bag with the 10x50s over roofs and fencing. Almost obscured by the thankfully shielded LED street lamp. The only planet I've not seen. It's a shame the scopes weren't out, but I'll settle for a 10x50 view!

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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I had excellent clear skies all the way to the horizon last evening and Mercury was well placed at 9pm. I believe it was 10 degrees in altitude and very prominent. I managed to observe it with my Skymax 127 at 100x and could easily see the crescent shape. The seeing and dispersion into rainbow colours did not allow higher magnification. Finally around 9:30 I finished with a parting shot:

IMG_9989.thumb.JPG.8d708b6517d49a18d568edbf2ca15e7a.JPG

 

On Thursday it may be even better with the new Moon next to it but the weather forecast for me does not look promising.

 

Cheers,

 

Nik

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After a day of torrential rain and hail the forecast was for clear skies. I sceptically took the grab and go ETX 90 out to a low NW horizon and it was a completely clear sky......... except for the NW horizon line of cloud.   I could see Venus but then even that was occluded by this line of cloud. I despaired of these moving but at 21:50, they shifted and there it was!! I managed to to see the half illuminated phase by using a 15mm BST Starguider  at x85 mag.

Thanks to all on this thread, for your posts and encouragement.  That is only the second time I have managed to see Mercury

John

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Mercury visible from my upstairs window ,last night ,  quickly got the zs73 out and just caught it between houses ... didn't up the mag ... i was just thrilled to see it from my location . Will try tonight although having two clear evenings in a row is like winning the lottery ie not likely :) 

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Posted (edited)

Had a chance to see Mercury again tonight .. the seeing was terrible and I didn’t catch a phase .. more like a yellow blob but , it’s better than not seeing it at all :) .. 

 

Edited by Stu1smartcookie
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sounds cool👽 hopefully will get too see Mercury from my location I live in Peoria,ILL and  live in the northern part of ILL

and  hope too see Jupiter again  as well, as I am out on my porch and  am looking  west that is where I saw Jupiter before and hope too see

Jupiter again I want too see more then just booster rockets early in the morning which our neat too see😸

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10 minutes ago, goddasgirl2021 said:

hope too see Jupiter again  as well, as I am out on my porch and  am looking  west that is where I saw Jupiter before and hope too see

Jupiter again I want too see more then just booster rockets early in the morning which our neat too see

Jupiter is a (very early ) morning planet and as such wont be visible in the evening until later in the summer . Those nights can't come soon enough ! I miss it . Still plenty to see though ... watch out for the really thin crescent moon near Venus and Mercury in the next couple of evenings :) 

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I caught Mercury just before it hid in the clouds last night, about 10.10pm. My view to the NW is poor, so this is from an upstairs bedroom, through the window. I had just managed to grab the camera and snap it before it disappeared, hence the rather poor shot. Still, I always feels satisfied at having seen it. I caught it the night before too, when the sky was much better, but just used my bins. I hadn't realized this thread existed, so actually started a new thread.

https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_05/P1000684_2.jpg.1a569d69c7819a8116927c5f45fab8bc.jpg

Ian

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On 11/05/2021 at 09:13, Nik271 said:

On Thursday it may be even better with the new Moon next to it but the weather forecast for me does not look promising.

No, but then the forecast for Monday night didn't look at all promising either, but turned into a very nice clear sky :).

Ian

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Weather against me. Would like to try and see it close to the thin crescent moon tonight.

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Posted (edited)

It's been non stop cloud for me for the last week. Last evening there was a small area of the western sky that had intermittent clear areas. In one of them, I could see the cresent Moon so I used my Celestron 6SE to set up alignment on it. When I did a goto, there was cloud where Mercury should have been. A small gap came up and there it was, Mercury for probably 10 seconds in my finder scope and then in my 25mm. And then it was away again! 

Peter

 

Edited by Peter_D
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Posted elsewhere but I thought I would add them here too. I couldn’t see this from my garden as it was hidden by houses, so on Thursday 13th May I wandered up on to the local Heath where there is a much better horizon.

There was some cloud around, but if anything that added to the atmosphere. The crescent Moon looked lovely, and Mercury was a clear naked eye object when in the gaps. They fitted easily into the 8.2 degree field of my 8x42 binos.

Two shots here, one with the x2 camera on my iPhone, and the other, a little awkwardly holding the x1 camera up to the binoculars, it came out surprisingly well.

4FA804EB-A2BD-4479-93F2-64F0E7ADC603.jpeg

22151B69-868C-4587-994D-E66A95DFA8E1.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Stu said:

Two shots here

Well done. No chance of anything here on Thursday as the sky filled up in readiness for yesterday's dismal day. Last night it looked as though it would clear, but there was a lot of high cloud around and it was very mucky towards the NW.

Ian

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Posted (edited)

Nice Stu. I managed a second extended look on Thursday evening, followed by an astonishing Starlink train. I counted 53 satellites..! They were popping into view two at a time through the 10x50s in the fading daylight.

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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7 minutes ago, ScouseSpaceCadet said:

I counted 53 satellites..!

Wow! They can be very impressive soon after launch all bunched together. Saw a few transit the moon once which was great.

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38 minutes ago, Stu said:

Wow! They can be very impressive soon after launch all bunched together. Saw a few transit the moon once which was great.

Absolutely nuts. I checked out the Orbitrack app for confirmation. By the time the last one flew over, the first was over Ukraine. Then tinfoil hat time as a Soviet spy satellite launched in '87 flew right over the house... Yes I know, too much spare time!

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