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A Glimpse Of Mercury

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Posted by Matthew Sullivan on April 22, 2002 15:12:39 UTC

Hi people,

Since last night was mostly clear I was able to bring my binoculars outside for a few brief moments to gaze at the planetary lineup in the western sky. It took me 15 minutes to spot Venus in the binocs; the sun was just setting and the sky was relatively bright. Once I found it I adjusted and readjusted the focus till I got it as close as I could to a point. I had checked SkyMap Pro earlier to see where Mercury was. After I spotted Venus I looked down and to the right and found nothing. After another 10 minutes of fiddling with the focus I tried again, and after making an extra effort to hold them steady I finally found it. Wasn't much to see, just a pin prick in the sunset glow, but one I had never seen before!

By this time Jupiter was easily visible to the naked eye and Saturn was an easy find in the binocs. The only planet I didn't find was Mars, but I didn't want to risk freezing my fingers off to see a planet I had seen many times before. That was my thrill for the day! :)


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