Mercury at Maximum Elongation

Today Mercury reaches maximum elongation, the furthest point it will reach from the Sun in the sky and the highest it will be above the sunrise for this morning apparition. The planet is easily visible as a bright, starlike object about 15° above the rising Sun as the twilight begins. Over the next couple weeks Mercury will slide back into the sunrise, heading for superior conjunction on February 16th.

Mercury Events for 2012

  Date Separation
Superior Conjunction Feb 7 08:54UT Feb 6 22:54HST  
Maximum Elongation Mar 5 08:59UT Mar 4 22:59HST 18.2°E
Inferior Conjunction Mar 21 19:19UT Mar 21 09:19HST  
Maximum Elongation Apr 18 16:59UT Apr 18 06:59HST 27.5°W
Superior Conjunction May 27 11:14UT May 27 01:14HST  
Maximum Elongation July 1 01:59UT Jun 30 15:59HST 25.7°E
Inferior Conjunction Jul 28 19:54UT Jul 28 09:54HST  
Maximum Elongation Aug 16 11:59UT Aug 16 01:59HST 18.7°W
Superior Conjunction Sep 10 12:37UT Sep 10 02:37HST  
Maximum Elongation Oct 26 21:59UT Oct 26 11:59HST 24.1°E
Inferior Conjunction Nov 17 15:42UT Nov 17 05:42HST  
Maximum Elongation Dec 4 22:59UT Dec 4 12:59HST 20.6°W

Source: NASA Sky Calendar and the Mercury Chaser’s Calculator

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Author: Andrew

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

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