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Mercury and Jupiter.


Telescope40
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Hi. My Western horizon cleared nicely about 6 pm. Got a good view of both planets with my binos. Thought I got Mercury last year but I wasnt convinced. I can it tick "off" the list now. Jupiter helped nicely to guide the way .

Chuffed John

Edited by Telescope40
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Took a look at Jupiter and Mercury myself this evening. Was set up and ready to go just after 7. Perhaps I could have picked up Mercury earlier - anyway no big deal. Jupiter was already diving into the thick cut marmalade horizon. Mercury looked brilliant above the grog in the graded blue sky. I reckon I could just about tell it's phase although to be honest there was so much atmospheric refraction it wasn't absolutely clear. It was only afterwards I wondered if I had stuck in my OIII filter would the shape have been more obvious? Not a trick that would work in smaller scopes but I think it might work with a 12". My diary is a bit busy over the next few days so I don't think I'm going to get another look at Mercury this apparition.

I have to confess I was looking at Mercury through my new 20/20 5mm Nagler. Man do I have a problem. No way do I require yet another planetary eyepiece and yet I don't want to let any of them go. The eye relief is a bit too tight to be comfortable but then the field of view is so luxurious compared to a radian. It's really nice not to have to reposition the scope so often. I found it was best to hold my eye fractionally back from seeing the whole field of view and then shift my head slightly as the planet drifted across the field. I can see myself being a bit selective about when I offer people a view through the nagler though because it is going to be a bit of a magnet for eyelash grease. Anyway I'm pretty happy with the eyepiece and can see it becoming my planetary eyepiece of choice unless the atmosphere is really boiling.

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As luck would have it it was clear last night and I was free so I got another view of Mercury at sunset. I think the seeing was worse than last time I was out but I found the phase more obvious, perhaps because Mercury was slightly higher in the sky. Using the OIII filter did help a bit, although it made the image a bit dark. I'm sure a broader band filter would have helped but frankly how often am I going to be viewing planets near the horizon?

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Mercury is a hard one to capture but when you do,... it's quite an accomplishment. I remember seeing for the first time a couple of years ago. Excited, I called out for my husband to come and see it. "That little dot in the sky?" he said unimpressed. Oh well,.. I guess I'm the only one that becomes excited at dots at the fall of darkness.

Isabelle

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Now that mercury has passed max elongation, the phase will become even more defined, this will be accompanied by an increase in brightness too I think, due to it becoming closer to us.

Hopefully I'll not be too tired to sit out this evening, I missed the last two, which were looking good.

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