Planet Mercury in December

January 09, 2010

20100109 – Saturday - Planet Mercury in December

Photographer: Rick Stankiewicz
Summary Author: Rick Stankiewicz

The photo above shows ever-elusive Mercury as captured from Keene, Ontario on December 22, 2009. Our innermost planet was a faint “evening star” during December, and on the 22nd, when Jupiter and a crescent Moon were high in the southern sky, faint Mercury was hugging the southwestern horizon. This image shows Mercury with a bit of magnification, just emerging from the burnt orange twilight, which made it fairly easy to pick out. It shows what you might expect to see with a good pair of binoculars having at least eight times magnification. Mercury almost always resides in the gloaming, only rarely attaining a height of more than about 10 degrees (a fist held at arm’s length) above the horizon.

Photo details: Photo captured from my backyard. I used a Canon 400D camera with a tripod and with Sigma 70-300 mm lenses; ISO 400; 2 second exposure; f/5.6 at 300 mm.

Keene, Ontario coordinates: 44.240486, -78.161856