Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last Glance of Mercury...

The evening observing window to spot Venus and Mercury has been very brief, thanks to the low angle of the ecliptic to the horizon this time of year.  A couple weeks ago I posted about the evening conjunction of the 2 planets inward of the Earth.  Forgetful me, I often don't remember to look until the pair sink too low to spot the fainter Mercury.  The innermost planet also reached greatest eastern elongation (furthest from the sun in the evening sky) yesterday, so in the next days will get fainter (as it becomes a smaller crescent passing between us and the sun - visible in telescopes only) and as it dives towards inferior conjunction (between us and the sun) 2 weeks from  Sunday (4 December).  But in the meantime, in the next day or so, you can still spot it in the evening sky, as I did tonight, below brilliant Venus - taken with Canon XSi and 17-85 zoom set to 85mm for 1/5 second.  Catch it while you can!

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