Elusive Mercury Flickers in the Evening Sky

 

December 29th, 2015

Firstly, my apologies to any regular readers who may have wondered why I haven’t posted recently; besides finishing my book (and, of course, Christmas) my second son, Charlie, was born on the 18th. As you can imagine, I’ve had little time to focus on much else!

In fact, it’s fair to say that I nearly missed Mercury’s appearance in the evening twilight. It’s not the easiest planet to find, but it’s currently at its greatest distance from the Sun in the sky and, consequently, at its best for observation.

If you’ve never seen Mercury before you might miss it. It often appears as a pinkish-white star, low on the horizon, and if you don’t know where to look you’ll probably find a pair of binoculars to be useful. This time around, observers in Australia will get the best view with those in the United Kingdom facing the greatest challenge.

If you want to try your luck, be quick. Not only does it set soon after the Sun but it will soon be lost again in its glare. Don’t wait until the new year or you might just miss it!

 

All Astronomical Events for December 29th, 2015

03:02 UT – Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation. (60% illuminated, magnitude -0.5, diameter 6.7”. Naked eye, Sagittarius, evening sky. See details 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.

Astronomical events taken from 2015: An Astronomical Year. ,The 2016 edition is now available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom. Night sky simulations created using Mobile Observatory for Android devices.

2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac 2015-2019 Kindle Cover - Deep Sky Observer's Guide

Easy Things to See With a Small Telescope

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) The Deep Sky Observer’s Guide

(Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback)

(Paperback)

Amazon – US

Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US
Amazon – UK Amazon – UK  Amazon – UK Amazon – UK

Amazon – UK

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com

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