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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An Evening Conjunction

e Moon, Venus and Aldebaran
The Moon, Venus and Aldebaran join up for an evening conjunction

This evening will feature a a pretty set of planets and the Moon low in the sunset. Mercury, Mars, and a thin crescent Moon will be visible above the glow of the setting Sun.

The Moon will be a very thin sliver, a mere 4% illuminated. Look 7° above the Moon for Mars. Mercury will be harder to spot, about
7° below the Moon, closer to the sunset and a little north (to the right).

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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A Pretty Scene in Taurus

The Pleiades star cluster
The Pleiades star cluster M45

This evening, April 8th will offer a beautiful view with Mars and slim crescent Moon located between the Pleiades and the larger Hyades star clusters.

The Moon will be a slim crescent, only 14% illuminated. Mars will be 5° north (to the right) of the Moon, shining at +1.5 magnitude. Above and below will be the bright star clusters.

Mars and the Pleiades

Over the next week Mars will pass by the Pleiades star cluster. The bright planet and the cluster should make a pretty arrangement in the evening sky.

The Pleiades star cluster
The Pleiades star cluster M45

Tonight the planet is 4° from the cluster. By Saturday, March 30th, the planet will be just over three degrees away. Through the next week the planet and cluster will slowly drift apart again.

The evening of April 8th will offer a beautiful view with Mars and slim crescent Moon located between the Pleiades and the larger Hyades star clusters.

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.

Continue reading “Mercury at Maximum Elongation”