Mercury in the Dawn Sky

Dear Angelique,

I want to write you about the exciting opportunity to see Mercury in the pre-dawn sky, if you are up that early.  I think you have made your journey into the heart of the Amazon Rain forest where you will remain for the next week until we see each other in Bahia for our much awaited horseback encounter.

I was reading a very cool article in the Guardian about Mercury being in the pre-dawn sky.  I have always wanted to see Mercury, but I have never been personally able to identify it with any confidence.

Now we have a special opportunity because Mercury will be in the sky above Jupiter before sunrise.  Jupiter and Venus, on their way to their rendezvous in Mid-January are already brightly visible in the pre-dawn sky.  We should be able to detect Mercury as well if we have a clear horizon.  I don’t know how you will be able to see the horizon with all those trees, but maybe you can find a hilltop with an eastern view, or maybe you can climb a tree.

I have the lucky advantage of living in a tall building with an eastern view, so hopefully I will be able to see it.

Will you send some pics from your Journey?  I’d love to have a little tidbit about Brazil Travel given the exciting adventure you are on!

Can’t wait to hear from you.

Spencer

Peace, Love, Forgiveness

PS — Hi Angelique, so this morning, December 18, 2018, I got up at 5:45 to go see if I could find Mercury, and there it was clear and bright!  I have never positively identified it before, but with Jupiter and Venus there to help locate Mercury, it was super easy to find!  I had always thought that Mercury would be very faint and difficult to see, but this is not at all true.  It appear very bright and was very easy to identify in the sky just above Jupiter.

In the picture you can clearly see the two planets.  Jupiter is actually brighter but partially obscured by some low clouds.  You can see Mercury shining brightly.  Venus at the time of the photo was too high in the sky to capture in the same frame, and she was outshining everything else, as is her perogative :[)

Also, remember the post on Planetary Conjunctions?  Well, it just happens that on December 21st, Mercury will be conjunct Jupiter! And that day also happens to be the Winter Solstice. So that means in three days, the Sun will rise at the point farthest to the south in its annual march across the horizon, on the same exact day that Mercury will be conjunct Jupiter.

This is also interesting to observe because Mercury revolves around the Sun faster than Jupiter, and Mercury is presently higher up in the sky that Jupiter as the Sun rises.  Day by day, Mercury advances through the signs faster than Jupiter, so that means Mercury will catch Jupiter as Mercury dives toward the Sun.  Mercury will fall into the Sun very quickly before reappearing in the evening, and Jupiter will only get higher in the morning sky.  This is because Earth revolves faster than Jupiter and slower than Mercury.

I can’t wait to observe these developments!  I hope Mercury is still visible in the predawn sky on December 28th when we arrive in Bahia, but I’m afraid at the rate it is moving into the Sun, it will already be too late!

Time will tell!

Love Spencero8+674c9QEyx3StFR6rRoQ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s