Astro photography

Mercury and Moon

Mercury and Moon, May 17, 2007. Although very similar in size and appearance, Mercury is about 300 times farther away than the Moon, and it's in a close orbit around the Sun. Mercury is usually seen in either the dusk or dawn skies, but often goes unnoticed in the red glow of the sky. On this evening it was brighter than usual, and just two and a half degrees from the Moon, making it easy to find.

The Moon was just one day past new, and it shows a characteristic Earthshine — sunlight reflecting off of the daylight side of the Earth is bright enough to light the Moon's shadow regions.

This photograph was featured on the SkyNews website, and published in SkyNews Magazine (Jul-Aug '07).

A year later almost to the day, the same pairing of Moon and Mercury was seen in our evening sky.

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Steve Irvine
R.R. # 2
Wiarton, Ontario
Canada N0H 2T0
(519) 534 2175