"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan) (ajrose93) wrote,
"A.J. Rose" (Jonathan)
ajrose93

Mercury visible to naked eye! :D

93, all:

As you doubtless know, the planet Mercury is usually too close to the sun to be seen; it only gets far enough away from the sun's light to be visible a couple of times a year. Having seen all of the traditional seven except Mercury (we saw Saturn through the Griffith Observatory telescope a number of years back: it looked suspiciously like a cardboard cut-out of Saturn), I have been trying for upwards of fifteen years to get a glimpse of elusive Mercury, without success -- usually because the required times (always predawn or post-sunset) tend to coincide with overcast horizons in Los Angeles.

Until last night!, when C and I saw it plainly from our back balcony. It's pale, but quite visible to the naked eye in the west, just after sunset (once it's dark enough out it fades into view, but don't wait too long or it'll set), and better still easy to find because a very bright Venus is on a diagonal immediately to its upper left (as viewed from the States). If you look through binoculars, as we did, it's a bright red.

I am so jazzed. ;)

Anyway, a photo and locator chart are at: http://spaceweather.com/

93 93/93 -- AJ

EDIT: Dang -- they changed the top page. Anyway, here's the locator:
http://spaceweather.com/images2007/07feb07/skymap_north.gif
...and it looks like a Do Not Delay kinda deal. Now you know!
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