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Mercury (hopefully)


yeti monster
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I've seen it quite a few times but it can be frustrating to find and then it doesn't hang about for long.

I have managed one so-so image from a couple of years ago but I need a better one to complete my planetary collection.

Morning skies are no good for me as I have a hill in the way.

I wish you luck. I think you will be surprised at how bright it is.

Geoff

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For some reason I am expecting it to look like mercury, the metal, not the singinger. We had yer actual sinshine today, albeit rather briefly. But the cleods seems much thinner, the wind has dropped and there's a definite summer warmth/muggyness about the place, which is just about right when the weather is good at this time of year, it gets proper hot in the summer, I can tell you!

Anyhoo, figners crossed for a good early moroning at some point

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Are you using binoculars? First time i ever saw Mercury it was in the murky airmass during sunset and i needed the 11x70s to see it, but it was nice and bright in the binos.

Another thing that helped me find it fairly quickly was using a skymark. I chose a bright star in my astro program that would be hovering over Mercury as it set. Then after it was located in the twilight sky, i dropped down towards the horizon and slowly scanned back and forth with the binos till i saw the planet.

Good luck, and i hope Mercury doesn't act like a cloud-magnet again. :)

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As yesterday was positively hot and summer, with almost no wind, I was keenly out of my bed at 05:10 this moroning. I stepped out onto the helideck to be greeted by 30 knot winds and a very dark and starless sky. Yup the N.E. monsoon is back.

I still went out to my southerly obs position and watched as the sky grew lighter, revealing more of the cloudage. There were gaps which allowed me to see Mars almost directly overhead, but I soon accepted that there was no chance of a gap large enough for me to be able to see as low as Mercury would be.

I shall not give up though.

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definately use binoculars and work out where it should be first. IF you find it in the binos, you might be able to see it naked eye once you know exactly where to look.

April 2008 i had excellent clear evenings and found it this way on about eight or nine occasions, then i viewed it through an 8" newtonian and made sketches starting from 5 arc sec at 92% on the 24th april to 26% at 9.1 arcsec on 17th may.

I started looking straight after sunset, and sometimes it took 45 minutes to find, as the sky got darker so mercury stood out more.

I cannot do mornings from my garden but i would like to as the seeing is bad in the early evening. Also i suspect mercury might be easier to find in the mornings, then you can follow it up into the brightening sky.

hope this helps - good luck

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This moroning I spied stars, so grabbed the binos and trotted off to the aft side of the rig. There, moored directly in line with where I wanted to view, was a supply/stand-by boat, with flood lights on full blast!

Trying to ignore this intrusion, I watched the sky, orientated myself using Scorpius as my datum. Sure enough, that boat was interferring!

As the sky grew lighter I also saw the HUGE, DARK, cloud right slap, band where Mercury would have been.

Also, and I'm not sure about this, but I am beginning to think that perhaps mercury has it's back to us just now, and might only be showing a crescent? If so, then in a month or 2 there might be a better chance of seeing it, I'll keep checking up and watching the weather.

YM

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At Last! Mercury!

I nearly didn't bother trying this moroning, I heard my alarm at 05:15 and almost went back to sleep. But no, thought I, Yosamite Sam NEVER gives up!, then nor shall I.

So, pot of coffee made, weeties scoffed, out onto the heli deck to a sky full of stars, but cloud to the southern horizon!

Still, gear on and round to the aft (southerly) side of the rig, to my wee dark bit, as I approached I could see her, obvious against the still dark south eastern sky. I dashed round to the control room for the binos and dashed back again.

Mercury had gone, hidden by the dark clouds.

I waited a while and a gap appeared. Through the binos, what a pleasure to see, so bright, yet so tiny. Such a sweet sight.

I thank the great gods for the opportunity. I was able to watch for over 20 minutes, as the sky grew lighter and a really BIG bank of clouds drifted across.

I do so hope to get more views of this wonderful and captivating planet, very soon.

I is well chuffed, so I is.

Edited by yeti monster
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Thanks Talitha, indeed worth the wait. I was quite surprised as to how far up in the sky Mercury can get before the sun rises, it must have been 25 degrees at least (really must get a sextant), but such a sweet thing, did I mention that? I want to tell the world!

In appearance, I'd say very similar to the way that Venus looks when showing in the moroning sky, a bright, white, point of light but so much smaller. And, despite the "air mass", surpisingly little "twinkling".

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Conditions this moroning were absolutely perfect for viewing Mercury. I have attempted some photos, but as I only have my fuji s1000fd, with auto focus and limited zoom, they will be land(sea/sky)scapes, more than planetary imaging. Still, once I've sorted through them, I'm sure there'll be something worth posting.

(see imaging section)

Edited by yeti monster
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Only a brief look at her as she brightened, before ye olde cleods rolled in once more. I've a busy few days ahead of me now, so don't know if I'll be able to get up so early. But then an overhead ISS is prdicted for tomorrow at 05:55, so who knows........

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