Astronomy Picture of the Day

Mercury on the Horizon

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#105417 by @ 28.01.2008 00:00 - nach oben -
Mercury on the Horizon

Have you ever seen the planet Mercury?

Mercury orbits so close to the Sun,
it never wanders far from the Sun in
Earth's sky.

If trailing the Sun,
Mercury will be visible
low on the horizon for only a short while
after sunset.

If leading the Sun, Mercury
will be visible only shortly before

So at certain times of the year an
informed skygazer with a little determination
can usually pick Mercury
out from a site with an unobscured horizon.

Above, a lot of determination has been combined
with a little
digital trickery to
show Mercury's successive positions during March of 2000.

Each picture was taken from the same location in Spain
when the Sun itself was 10 degrees below the
horizon and superposed
on the single most
photogenic sunset.

Mercury is
currently visible in the western sky
after sunset, but will disappear in the Sun's glare after a few days.

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