Mercury has moved into the early evening twilight and may be glimpsed close to the horizon over the next few nights. Today it passes close to M45, the Pleiades open star cluster, but the faint stars of the cluster itself may be difficult to see without binoculars. (Both the planet and the cluster should easily fit within the same field of view.) Unfortunately, for those in Australia, the cluster may not be visible at all.
Meanwhile, Venus remains a brilliant object nearby and is visible for hours after sunset.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
17:39 UT – Mercury appears 1.7° south of the Pleiades. (Mercury: 57% illuminated, magnitude -0.4, diameter 6.7”. Naked eye, Taurus, evening sky. See image above.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.
All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.
Learn more about upcoming astronomical events in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle Edition and Paperback Edition) and 2016 An Astronomical Year (North American Kindle Edition.)
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com