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Venus and Mercury 11th April 2023

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Towards the top obviously is Venus, sitting between orange Aldebaran to her left, and the Pleiades. But the star planet of the show of course just above the cloud-bank to the right of the picture is Mercury, the best I've ever observed it naked eye. There's a huge strom approaching and just starting, but there have been startlingly clear gaps in the cloud, and I just went out to see Mercury just blazing. I ran for the camera and tripod.
The "monster reaching for the stars" in the foreground is a dead Sycamore stump in my garden. Baltimore provides the glow behind the silhouetted house; the bright lights (LP) in the distance on the right are a housing estate above Schull; and the bright lights on the left are the former hotel on Sherkin Island housing about 60 Ukrainians, one of whom apparently is a top chef from Kyiv, but she cannot work in any of our fine restaurants here because the last ferry from Baltimore to Sherkin is not late enough!
Not quite full consolation for being unable to observe for weeks on end, but very nice to see Mercury so clear.
Cheers, Magnus


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