Mercury at Maximum Elongation

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter
An evening conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter on 30 May, 2013

Today Mercury is passing through maximum elongation, the furthest it will rise above the setting Sun in the evening sky. After today the planet will slide back into the Sun’s glare headed for inferior conjunction on July 21st.

This is the most favorable evening apparition of the year, reaching over 25° from the Sun. The October apparition is almost as good
reaching over 24° from the Sun.

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Jupiter at Opposition

Jupiter will pass through opposition at 05:11HST today.

Jupiter 14Apr2016
Jupiter on April 15, 2016

Jupiter orbits the Sun once every 11.86 years. As the giant planet continues on its way the Earth swings around much faster on our inside track. As a result we lap Jupiter once every 399 days, passing between the planet and the Sun. During opposition Jupiter will rise at sunset, transit at midnight, and set at dawn. This makes the planet available for observation for the entire night.

Look for a bright object rising in the eastern sky after sunset. It is difficult to mistake for anything else, shining at it’s brightest during opposition, a brilliant -2.7 magnitude. For the remainder of the spring and much of the summer, the planet will be quite prominent in the evening sky.

Mercury at Superior Conjunction

Today Mercury is passing through superior conjunction, passing around the far side of the Sun as seen from our earthbound vantage point. This fast moving planet will reappear in the sunset in about a week, rising towards maximum elongation on June 23rd.

The June apparition will be the best of the year with the planet reaching over 25° from the Sun. The October apparition will be quite good as well at over 24°.

Mercury Events for 2019
ApparitionDate ElongationMagnitude
Evening Feb 2718.1°E -0.2
Morning Apr 1127.7°W +0.6
Evening Jun 2325.2°E +0.7
Morning Aug 919.0°W +0.3
Evening Oct 2024.6°E +0.1
Morning Nov 2820.1°W -0.3
Data from the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator by John Walker

Mercury at Maximum Elongation

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter
An evening conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter on 30 May, 2013

Today Mercury is passing through maximum elongation, the furthest it will rise above the rising Sun in the dawn sky. After today the planet will slide back into the Sun’s glare headed for superior conjunction on May 21st.

This is the best apparition of the year, morning or evening, with the planet over 27° from the Sun.

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Mercury at Inferior Conjunction

Today Mercury is passing through inferior conjunction, passing between the Sun and the Earth. This fast moving planet will reappear above the dawn in about a week, rising towards maximum elongation on April 11th.

This is the most favorable dawn apparition of the year, actually the best dawn or evening, with the planet reaching over 27° away from the Sun.

Mercury Events for 2019
ApparitionDate ElongationMagnitude
Evening Feb 2718.1°E -0.2
Morning Apr 1127.7°W +0.6
Evening Jun 2325.2°E +0.7
Morning Aug 919.0°W +0.3
Evening Oct 2024.6°E +0.1
Morning Nov 2820.1°W -0.3
Data from the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator by John Walker

Mercury at Maximum Elongation

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter
An evening conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter on 30 May, 2013

Today Mercury is passing through maximum elongation, the furthest it will rise above the setting Sun in the evening sky. After today the planet will slide back into the Sun’s glare headed for inferior conjunction on March 14th

This is a modest apparition, with the planet only 18° from the Sun at maximum. The next evening apparition in June is much better, reaching over 25° from the Sun.

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Mercury at Superior Conjunction

Today Mercury is passing through superior conjunction, passing around the far side of the Sun as seen from our earthbound vantage point. This fast moving planet will reappear in the sunset in about a week, rising towards maximum elongation on February 26th.

This will be a modest apparition, with the planet only 18° from the Sun at maximum. The next evening apparition in June is much better, reaching over 25° from the Sun.

Mercury Events for 2019
ApparitionDate ElongationMagnitude
Evening Feb 2718.1°E -0.2
Morning Apr 1127.7°W +0.6
Evening Jun 2325.2°E +0.7
Morning Aug 919.0°W +0.3
Evening Oct 2024.6°E +0.1
Morning Nov 2820.1°W -0.3
Data from the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator by John Walker

Venus at Maximum Elongation

Crescent Venus
Venus approaching inferior conjunction, 24Dec2013

Today Venus is passing through maximum elongation, the highest elevation it will attain in the dawn sky for this apparition.

The planet is currently 47° ahead of the rising Sun. After today the brilliant planet will slide back into the glow of dawn headed for superior conjunction on August 13th, and an evening apparition starting in mid-September.

Saturn at Superior Conjunction

Today Saturn passes through superior conjunction, rounding the far side of the Sun as seen from our earthbound vantage point.

Saturn
Saturn on April 15th, 2016

Saturn will re-emerge in the dawn sky towards the end of the month. Look for the planet low in the glow of dawn, rising higher each day. It will swing by Venus on February 18th, passing about a degree away.

Saturn will pass through opposition on July 9th, crossing into the evening sky.

Mercury at Inferior Conjunction

Today Mercury will be at inferior conjunction. After today the planet will reappear in the dawn, rising high enough from the Sun’s glow to be seen around the end of the year.

Mercury Transit 9May2016
Mercury transiting the Sun on May 9, 2016. Celestron C8 and Canon 6D at f/10.
Inferior conjunction is when the planet passes between the Sun and the Earth. As such the only planets to see inferior conjunction are Mercury and Venus. A transit is possible if the planet passes directly in front of the Sun, but normally this alignment does not occur, the planet passing above or below the Sun as seen from the Earth. There are no transits of Mercury in 2017, the next will be Nov 11, 2019.

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