Mercury Appears in the Evening Sky

The planet Mercury is starting an evening apparition. The planet should become visible this week just above the fading glow of the setting Sun as a magnitude -1 object. The planet is moving about 1° further from the Sun and higher in the sunset each day, reaching a maximum elongation of 27° on September 4th. This will be the best evening apparition for Mercury in 2015.

Mercury Events for 2015

  Date UT Date HST Separation
Maximum Elongation Jan 14 19:59UT Jan 14 09:59HST 18.9°E
Inferior Conjunction Jan 30 13:40UT Jan 30 03:40HST  
Maximum Elongation Feb 24 15:59UT Feb 24 05:59HST 26.7°W
Superior Conjunction Apr 10 03:52UT Apr 09 17:52HST  
Maximum Elongation May 7 04:59UT May 6 18:59HST 21.2°E
Inferior Conjunction May 30 16:53UT May 30 06:53HST  
Maximum Elongation Jun 24 16:59UT Jun 24 06:59HST 22.5°W
Superior Conjunction Jul 23 19:18UT Jul 23 09:18HST  
Maximum Elongation Sep 4 09:59UT Sep 3 23:59HST 27.1°E
Inferior Conjunction Sep 30 14:36UT Sep 30 04:36HST  
Maximum Elongation Oct 16 02:59UT Oct 15 16:59HST 18.1°W
Superior Conjunction Nov 17 14:45UT Nov 17 04:45HST  
Maximum Elongation Dec 29 02:59UT Dec 28 16:59HST 19.7°E
 
Source: NASA Sky Calendar and the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator, yes there appears to be a bug in the NASA sky calendar that always puts XX:59 minutes for the maximum elongation time.

 

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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