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What exactly does mercury looklike


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Probably a dumb question I know but yesterday I was looking on my starry night software and it said that Mercury would appear at around 5.30 (Turkish time which is is GMT +2).

So I got up early to try and find it (knowing that it would according to the software appear over the sea) anyway as the sky was just beginning to go orange and the local imam was welcoming in the morning (nearby mosque!) a quite large white object was there. It looked like a round ball in the scope no detail but it was easiy visible with the naked eye which surprised me.

Has anyone any idea as to whether I was seeing Mercury ?. It definitely wasn't the Marmaris / Rhodes ferry!!

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Mercury is quite bright when you ahve the chance to see it. It's the "morning star", but as it's even further from the sun, it won't be very big in the scope.

At least that's my imagination and limited experience speaking, so I could be wrong.

Andrew

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Mercury will be bright, but I wouldn't call it large. You can detect a phase, just like the Moon. Mercury is closer to the Sun than Venus. It's also smaller, being just 1600 km larger than our Moon.

An object called "morning" or "evening" star is simply a planet visible at the respective time. Both Venus and Mercury can be either. Right now, Venus is an evening star and Mecury is a morning star. The main reason they're noticed at these times is they don't wander far from the Sun, so they're most noticable at these times.

I hope that helps.

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Mercury will be bright, but I wouldn't call it large. You can detect a phase, just like the Moon. Mercury is closer to the Sun than Venus.

:oops: I was trying to say closer to the sun at the same time as further from the earth!

Of course I knew that.

my very easy mnemonic just speeds up naming planets!

I read that the other day and it took so long to remember how it goes. One needs a mnemonic to remember how these mnemonics go! For this one I used the order of the planets to remember it!

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first time I saw Mercury was in the morning sky, framed by Jupiter and Venus, the three of them in a clear morning sky like three diamonds on a jeweller's velvet. I've never managed to get the scope on it, and through binoculars or naked eye it looks like a star, but if you are seeing a star close to the horizon before sunrise or after sunset, it is likely to be Mercury. Check with your star programs.

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I have already and I'm pretty certain it was what I thought it was.

It's a lovely clear night tonight so I think I'll be out for a while, according to Starry night Jupiter, Mars and Mercury pop up together over the sea at 6.30

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