2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
Excellent conditions for observing Mercury are provided throughout this week. The planet closest to the Sun can be observed in the evening sky for more than an hour after sunset. The search for the planet should be in the western part of the sky at an altitude of less than 10 degrees of arc.
Mercury is now in the constellation Taurus, passing on May 1 one degree of arc from the Pleiades star cluster. Its brightness will decrease within a week from 0, 0m to + 0.8m, and its apparent angular diameter increases to 8.7 arc seconds. Through a telescope or binoculars, the planet is visible in the form of a half-disk, turning into a sickle within a week.
In addition to Mercury, Venus is now moving in the constellation Taurus, having a magnitude of about -4.1m. Its angular dimensions are up to 18.1 seconds of arc, and the phase decreases during the week from 0.66 to 0.63. The Evening Star can be observed until midnight, and experienced observers can distinguish it even against the background of the daytime sky
The position of Mercury on the map of the starry sky on May 5, 2015